Clinical Study

Differences Between Trainee And Attending Perceptions On The Educational Value Of Patient Care Activities

Posted Date: Jul 15, 2019

  • Investigator: Joshua Kuethe
  • Specialties: Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Diseases, Heart Disease, Liver Disease, Lung Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Surgical Oncology, Thoracic Surgery, Thyroid Cancer, Vascular
  • Type of Study: Observational/Survey

training if pursued. Given the increasing clinical workload of residents, certain types of patient care activities can encroach on resident education. A recent study found that the implementation of the 80-hour work week has lead to variability in the number of operative cases between graduating residents. Furthermore the article suggested curriculum change may be necessary to more efficiently utilize resident time. Lastly, with increasing patient volume, midlevel providers have been added to resident teams to offset these additional responsibilities. Previous studies have investigated which tasks may be best performed by physician extenders. Despite these efforts, many activities routinely performed by trainees, though essential to patients, provide little to no educational value. However, the perception of which tasks are educational vs service-oriented work has not been previously explored. In the surgical field, cardiothoracic surgery residents were surveyed to categorize which daily tasks were educationally valuable. Among medical students, one study showed that there are significant differences in what kinds of educational experiences medical students expect from their general surgery clerkship compared to what attending surgeons believe is necessary. To date, no studies have been conducted among general surgery residents to further elucidate these differences. As hospitals become busier and rates of burnout rise, it is important to understand which tasks maximize a trainees education within a limited workweek. In addition to identifying perceptions, exploring individual-level characteristics and how they interplay with these concepts is valuable. Using the concept of grit, we will explore how a trainee’s perseverance and dedication toward long term goals impacts their opinions regarding certain tasks as education vs service. If discrepancies present, it could facilitate dialogue that would serve to better resident education through a more efficient assignment of responsibility. From a medical student standpoint, this work aims to increase interest and recruitment in the field. There has been an observed decrease in medical students pursuing careers in General Surgery. A variety of reasons for this observation have been speculated including long work hours, perceptions of an environment that is not conducive to learning for residents, and potentially lack of mentorship when on general surgery rotations. We believe this work could increase the proportion of educationally relevant tasks that residents perform on a day to day basis, and that this improved educational environment may influence more medical students to choose a career in General Surgery. Demonstrating to a medical student that a General Resident’s time is spent productively and with education in mind could influence their career choice.


Anyone Who Is A General Surgery Resident/Fellow/Attending Or A Third/Fourth Year Medical Student On A Surgery Clerkship


Surgical Education, Perceptions

For More Information:

Dennis Vaysburg

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