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Surgical Outcomes Club
May 4, 2022

Leveraging the Health Services Research Toolbox for Surgical Education Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • 3Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
JAMA Surg. 2022;157(8):649-650. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2022.0643

Surgical education has been heavily scrutinized for a variety of shortfalls, including an absence of validated competency metrics, a lack of standardization across continuing education, and inefficiencies. For patients, uncertainty regarding educational performance metrics and practices threatens the ability to receive competent care. For learners who carry an average student loan debt of $241 600, inefficiencies limit enthusiasm for the field. For society, diminished interest in the field of surgery threatens the pipeline and portends a potential worsening of the surgeon shortage. For each of these reasons, paradigms in surgical education must be tested and revised to ensure optimal system performance. The health services research toolbox, composed of specialized training, advanced methodologies, and unique data (Table),1 provides tools to evaluate these new paradigms. The Surgical Outcomes Club webinar series recently showcased how this toolbox could be used to address critical questions in surgical education. This Viewpoint highlights the lessons learned and resources available to investigators interested in using research to transform surgical education into an evidence-based practice.

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