What Do We Know About Intraoperative Teaching? A Systematic Review

Matthew D. Timberlake, Helen G. Mayo, Lauren Scott, Joshua Weis, Aimee K. Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: There is increasing attention on enhancing surgical trainee performance and competency. The purpose of this review is to identify characteristics and themes related to intraoperative teaching that will better inform interventions and assessment endeavors. METHODS:: A systematic search was carried out of the Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE InProcess, Ovid Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases to identify all studies that discussed teaching in the operating room for trainees at the resident and fellow level. Evidence for main outcome categories was evaluated with the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI). RESULTS:: A total of 2101 records were identified. After screening by title, abstract, and full text, 34 studies were included. We categorized these articles into 3 groups on the basis of study methodology: perceptions, best practices, and interventions to enhance operative teaching. Overall strength of evidence for each type of study was as follows: perceptions (MERSQI: 7.5–10); best practices (6.5–11.5), and interventions (8–15). Although very few studies (n = 5) examined interventions for intraoperative teaching, these studies demonstrate the efficacy of techniques designed to enhance faculty teaching behaviors. CONCLUSIONS:: Interventions have a positive impact on trainee ratings of their faculty intraoperative teaching performance. There is discordance between trainee perceptions of quantity and quality of teaching, compared with faculty perceptions of their own teaching behaviors. Frameworks and paradigms designed to provide best practices for intraoperative teaching agree that effective teaching spans 3 phases that take place before, during, and after cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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