SUO 2015 Surgical Coaching for Performance Improvement - Session Highlights

Washington, DC USA ( Dr. Greenberg Caprice from the University of Wisconsin presented their data and experience on surgical coaching of surgeons for performance improvement In the health services session at the 2015 Society of Urologic Oncology.  Dr. Greenberg showed that when surgeons are asked to rate their peer’s surgical technical skills a large variation occurs.

Furthermore, there is an inverse linear relation between the surgical skills rating and the risk of surgical complication. Most complications occur due to unexpected conditions and not due to lack of training or change in surgical technique. However, most approaches to improvement are relates to better training and standardization of surgical techniques, thus not addressing the real cause of complication. Surgical coaching is trying to address exactly this. The definition of coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.

The core characteristics of surgical coaching are:

1. Power balance – collaborative relationship where neither participant takes superior role

2. Self-directed – enhance intrinsic motivation and enables people to follow self-concordant role

3. Develop capacity – monitor progress until the client develop the habit of self-monitoring 

It is known that experience improves performance but perfection is never achieved. Many surgeons stop improving after extensive practice and the goal of coaching is to prevent arrested development. 

Dr. Greenberg presented the experience at the University of Wisconsin in using videos for surgical coaching. Video allows one to view their own performance, more successful in sustaining behavior change and confers a time saving of 50-80%.

He also presented the results of a trial that examined the effect of video versus no video coaching of medical students. Surgical performance was improved by the use of video coaching. 

Finally Dr. Greenberg presented the University of Wisconsin coaching program, which used peer nomination to identify coaches, 4 hours training program for the coaches, video records of 10 surgeons and 1 hour coaching sessions within 14-30 days of operations.

Presented by:

Caprice C.  Greenberg, MD.

University of Wisconsin

Reported by:

Miki Haifler, MD.  from the 2015 Winter Meeting of the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) "Defining Excellence in Urologic Oncology" -

December 2 - 4  Washington, DC USA

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Health System, Philadelphia, PA.