Efforts to Enhance Operating Room Teaching

Mary Iwaszkiewicz, Debra DaRosa*, Donald A. Risucci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify the learning needs of faculty members who are not perceived by residents as outstanding teachers in the operating room. Design: General surgery residents electronically evaluated each faculty surgeon with whom they had significant contact upon completion of each clinical rotation between July 2005 and October 2006. Evaluation forms requested global ratings (1-5 scale ranging from poor to excellent) in 10 separate teaching-related areas, 1 of which was operating room teaching. Residents also rated faculty on 10 specific operating room teaching behaviors identified during a previous observational study. Results: In total, 134 faculty surgeons were evaluated by 63 residents. Faculty who were evaluated by at least 5 residents (n = 99) were included in the study (mean = 21.9; range, 5-118 evaluations). The ratings of overall operating room teaching (M ± SD: 4.46 ± 0.52) correlated significantly (p < 0.001) with ratings of overall performance (r = 0.80) and each of the 10 teaching behaviors (range, r = 0.65 {confident in role as teacher and surgeon} to r = 0.85 {teaches with enthusiasm}). Stepwise multiple regression analysis (R2 = 0.76, p < 0.01) identified ratings of the following teaching behaviors as independently significant predictors (p < 0.05) of global ratings of operating room teaching: allows learners to "feel pathology" (B = 0.38), teaches with enthusiasm (B = 0.31), and remains calm and courteous (B = 0.17). Conclusions: Resident perceptions of operating room teaching by faculty surgeons are strongly associated with overall perceptions of the surgeon and with perceptions of specific teaching behaviors exhibited in the operating room. Regression analysis suggests that approximately 76% of the variability in resident evaluations of operating room teaching may be associated with the extent to which a surgeon demonstrates a positive attitude toward teaching, remains calm and courteous, and provides a "hands on" learning experience. Faculty development efforts aimed at operating room teaching that focus on reinforcing or modifying these behaviors may contribute to improved overall perceptions of faculty by residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-440
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


  • Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Practice Based Learning and Improvement
  • Professionalism
  • evaluation
  • surgical teaching
  • teaching
  • teaching assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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