Operative surgical education: Results of a Society of Surgical Oncology fellowship survey and proposal for an operative database

Kathryn A. Spanknebel, Margo Shoup, Larissa K. Temple, Daniel G. Coit, Murray F. Brennan, David P. Jaques*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Preparation of surgical trainees for oncological operative procedures is challenging. The purpose of this survey was to focus on identifying methods and resources used by trainees to prepare for procedures and to ascess the need for additional educational tools. Methods: A 34-item survey was mailed electronically to 97 surgical oncology fellows at 14 Society of Surgical Oncology-approved training programs. General surgery residents at an affiliate training program (n = 65) and residents attending an American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination review course (n = 129) were polled via hard-copy mailings. The survey was distributed with the Dillman method. Self-education practices, factors influencing operative education, and strengths/weaknesses of available resources were identified. Results: Response rates were 56% and 78% for fellows and residents, respectively. Trainees prepare for more than 50% of cases they perform (82%; 169 of 205), devoting up to 1 hour (87%; 178 of 205) in review the evening before a procedure (64%; 131 of 205). Time availability and attending of record were dominant factors influencing resident preparation, whereas case complexity was the most important variable motivating fellows. Surgical atlases, texts, anatomical references, and case discussion with attending staff were the most useful and available resources rated by trainees. Skills stations were recognized as the least valuable. Critical assessment of six educational resources identified no one particular area for improvement. Conclusions: There is a need for contemporary operative educational tools, incorporating time-sensitive and procedure-specific needs of surgical trainees preparing for oncological operative procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-232
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


  • Database
  • Fellows
  • Operative education
  • Residents
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Operative surgical education: Results of a Society of Surgical Oncology fellowship survey and proposal for an operative database'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this