A New Approach to Surgical Training


According to a recent study at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, applying coaching techniques used in professional sports and music to surgical training may improve surgeon performance. Through a combination of well-defined goals, motivation to improve, and constant structured feedback, the Conducting Elite Performance Training in Medicine model is a step-by-step program to train surgeons. 

A key component of the model is a coaching team providing real-time feedback and encouraging constant engagement in training. This coach and learner system emphasizes the role of communication in decreasing mistakes among teams. Communication and quick correction is increasingly important for more complex tasks requiring multiple skills, judgments and experience according to Dr. Kimberly Brown, a UTMB associate professor of surgery, and one of the developers of the model.

It’s not hard to see how these principles could translate across seemingly unrelated fields. If you make surgery into a team sport why shouldn't the same training and coaching principles apply to it? 

We love applying ideas across disciplines to find new solutions to long-standing problems. Ideally, our strengths and experiences from all areas of our life should contribute to success in our chosen careers.

This study reinforces our interest in applying new models to the operational challenges that are our focus. Why stop here? What other models do you think could hold the key to improving factors such as surgeon on-time starts and efficiency? Please share.