New Report Shows Coaching May Improve Surgical Technique, Decrease Errors

Like most highly-trained professionals, surgeons don’t like to be corrected or coached for that matter. Yet, a new Canadian study reveals that one-on-one coaching sessions employing video replay may improve a surgeon’s technique as well as reduce errors. “Clinical training in the operating room is a valuable opportunity for surgeons to acquire skill and knowledge; however, it often remains underutilized,” especially once physicians leave the supervised training of residency, note the researchers, who were led by Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Toronto and a general surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Grantcharov recommends the use of a “black box” in the OR to record the details of surgery for later review, performance improvement and error avoidance. Other professionals employ such ongoing training techniques. Perhaps it’s time surgeons consider availing themselves of the new technology and the opportunity for self-improvement.