A Comparison of Faculty and Resident Perception of Resident Learning Needs in the Operating Room

Carla M. Pugh*, Debra A. DaRosa, Dennis Glenn, Richard H. Bell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of faculty and resident perception of residents' learning needs regarding operative management. Our hypothesis is that surgical faculty and residents have significantly different perceptions of residents' learning needs. Design: This study used a 27-item survey designed to determine (1) the extent to which traditional learning resources are used by residents when preparing for cases in the operating room, (2) which Web-based resources residents use for operating room preparation, and (3) which operative management topics residents were deficient in despite preoperative preparation. Setting: The settings for this study were the exhibit hall area during the 90th American College of Surgeons' Clinical Congress Meeting and a weekly resident conference. Participants: Participants for this study included a convenience sample of faculty and resident volunteers from the Clinical Congress and residents of our program (N = 246). Results: On a scale of 1-5, with 5 indicating frequent use, residents rated their most frequently used resources as Major Surgical Texts (3.99) and Advice from colleagues (3.97). The top 3 operative management topics residents felt least prepared for after studying were "instrument use" (67.7%), "suture selection" (65.3%), and "operative field exposure" (50.0%). The top 3 operative management topics faculty felt residents were least prepared for were "anatomy" (73.9%), "natural history of disease" (73.9%), and "procedure choices" (69.6%). Chi-square analysis comparing faculty and resident perceptions of resident learning needs showed significant differences (p < 0.05) in 12 of the 12 operative management topics rated. Conclusion: A critical step in guiding development and proper use of learning technologies for surgical education is the conduct of needs assessments. The disparity between faculty and resident perception of residents' learning needs in the operating room underscores the need for residents to be included in needs assessments relating to surgical training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-255
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice Based Learning and Improvement
  • curriculum
  • internship and residency
  • program evaluation
  • surgery
  • surgical procedures
  • teaching materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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