Public Perceptions of General Surgery Residency Training

Karen J. Dickinson, Barbara L. Bass, Kevin Y. Pei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Patients are integral to surgical training. Understanding our patients’ perceptions of surgical training, resident involvement and autonomy is crucial to optimizing surgical education and thus patient care. In the modern, connected world many factors extrinsic to a patient's experience of healthcare may influence their opinion of our training systems (i.e., social media, television shows, and internet searches). The purpose of this article is to contextualize the literature investigating public perceptions of general surgery training to allow us to effect patient education initiatives to optimize both surgical training and patient safety. Design: This is a perspective including a literature review summarizing the current knowledge of public perceptions of general surgery training. Conclusions: Little is published regarding patient and public perceptions of general surgery residency training and the role of residents within this. Current literature demonstrates that the majority of patients are willing to have residents participate in their care. Patients' attitude toward resident involvement in their operation is improved by utilizing educational materials and by ensuring a supervising attending is present within the operating room. These observations, coupled with future work to delve deeper into factors affecting public perceptions of surgical training and resident involvement within this, can guide strategies to improve surgical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Surgical education
  • general public
  • general surgery residency
  • general surgery resident
  • patient care
  • perception
  • surgical training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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