A theory-based model for teaching and assessing residents in the operating room

Debra A. Darosa*, Joseph B. Zwischenberger, Shari L. Meyerson, Brian C. George, Ezra N. Teitelbaum, Nathaniel J. Soper, Jonathan P. Fryer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations


The operating room (OR) remains primarily a master/apprenticeship-based learning environment for surgical residents. Changes in surgical education and health care systems challenge faculty to efficiently and effectively graduate residents truly competent in operations classified by the Surgical Council on Resident Education as "common essential" and "uncommon essential." Program directors are charged with employing resident evaluation systems that yield useful data, yet feasible enough to fit into a busy surgical faculty member's workflow. This paper proposes a simple model for teaching and assessing residents in the operating room to guide faculty and resident interaction in the OR, and designating a resident's earned level of autonomy for a given procedure. The system as proposed is supported by theories associated with motor skill acquisition and learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • competency based education
  • resident education
  • resident evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

Cite this