Improving surgical training by identifying the most common feedback trainees receive for index cases

Max Maizels*, Dennis B Liu, Elizabeth B Yerkes, P. Meade, M. Biondi, R. Sutherland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: To make surgical training more effective, a proven method is needed to provide feedback to residents on their surgeries. Residency programs may make up for limited training time in the operating room by improving feedback that trainees receive about cases. Objective: The goals of this study were (1) to determine if an online tool to communicate feedback for attendings and trainees shows face validity and (2) to use an online tool to identify the most common feedback trainees receive after performing orchiopexy and hypospadias repair by survey. Methods: In 2016, determining whether an online tool to provide pediatric urology trainees feedback after surgery shows face validity begun. The tool was launched at the authors’ institutions. Then, attendings, fellows, and postgraduate year 4–5 trainees of 65 resident training programs were surveyed for their observations on preparing for and performing orchiopexy and hypospadias repair using the study tool to identify common feedback. Results: The results of using the tool to provide feedback shows face validity are as follows: feedback was exchanged between attendings and trainees on orchiopexy (n = 28) and hypospadias (n = 22). Anecdotally, the tool was easy to use. The results of using the tool to identify the most common feedback trainees receive by survey are as follows: from a pool of 65 institutions, 37 attendings and 28 trainees were enrolled who made 219 observations. Most trainees prepare using undocumented online resources (17/28, 67%) instead of speaking with their attendings or cotrainees (11/28, 33%). For orchiopexy, most respondents reported that trainees need to improve skills for hernia ligation (observations: attending = 28/45, 62%; and trainee = 17/26, 65%) and strategies for hernia exposure (observations: attending = 17/27, 62%; and trainee = 7/12, 58%). For hypospadias, most respondents reported that trainees need to improve skills for neourethroplasty (observations: attending = 31/53, 58%; and trainee = 10/16, 62%) and strategies for repair choice (observations: attending = 15/22, 68%; and trainee = 12/18, 67%) (chi-squared, all P = NS). Discussion: It was shown that both trainees and attendings agree on the areas of surgical strategy and execution which require improvement. With this study, it is also shown that the online feedback tool developed shows face validity in allowing attendings and trainees to communicate before and after surgery. Conclusions: The most common feedback pediatric urology trainees receive for routine pediatric urology surgery is identified. Online tools that emphasize remediations to address a trainee's specific feedback needs are to be built, so that they will be able to improve their skills at their next case.[Figure presented]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-583
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018



  • Feedback
  • Hypospadias repair
  • Index case
  • Orchiopexy
  • Residency programs
  • Surgical training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Urology

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