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Education Scholars Symposium

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.”- William Butler Yeats

“Education Scholars Day was proposed by David Latter as a parallel to Gallie Day in surgical science. The inaugural Education Scholars Day, held in February, brought together a core group of surgical educators in the Department, including staff, fellows and residents. Teodor Grantcharov gave the keynote address on his extensive experience doing innovative research in surgical education. Najma Ahmed analyzed the complex issue of resident duty hours, where her research has shown that limitations in work hours can negatively affect the education of surgeons. She has recommended flexibility – enabling residents to stay until noon after call rather than leave unresolved problems at 8 AM. The Department of Surgery at U of T has been granted the ability to allow residents to work post-call until noon for several years.”

On Friday, February 24th, the Inaugural Education Scholars Symposium showcased a variety of innovative efforts in scholarly research in education by our faculty members and residents. The morning began with a keynote presentation on Education, Innovation, and Quality Improvement by Teodor Grantcharov (St. Michael’s). He discussed the challenges of a “one-size-fits-all” simulation model, the lack of sufficient evidence in establishing assessment for selection tools, and the limited understanding of factors influencing performance. Markku Nousiainen (Sunnybrook) presented A Cost- Analysis in Using Simulation for Teaching and Assessing Orthopedic Surgery Residents emphasizing our need to systematically document our simulation costs and outcomes going forward, as a lack of evidence of effectiveness could impede potential funding opportunities. Tulin Cil (UHN) spoke about Mental Practice in Technical Performance and its effectiveness in surgical performance, especially in complex cases. Najma Ahmed (St. Michael’s) presented Resident Duty Hours and suggested that time-limited training negates technical skills competence because the trainee may not acquire sufficient hours of preparation. Nikki Woods (Wilson Center) discussed the Integration of Basic & Clinical Sciences and spoke to the importance of basic science training, as it leads to the formation of a mental network of clinical concepts that can later be readily applied to complex cases. Sandra de Montbrun (St. Michael’s) concluded with a presentation on Assessing Technical Competence for Certification, a firsthand look at her development of the COSATS. The implementation of this COSATS will be the first time that a North American surgical society has moved forward with a technical skills exam with the purpose of re-certification, which could have potential impact on patient care.

Goldenberg and Nousiainen

Mitchell Goldenberg with Markku Nousiainen

During his term as Chair of the Department of Surgery, Dr. D.R Wilson began to formally recognize and reward excellence in education scholarship in the Department of Surgery. Greatly influenced by such efforts, Richard Reznick went on to champion the Competency by Design curriculum in Orthopedics. It was in this spirit that the Inaugural Richard Reznick Excellence Awards were given to Mitchell Goldenberg for his poster presentation, Surgical Technical Performance Impacts Patient Outcomes in Robotic-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy, and to Brandon Girardi for his podium presentation Surgical Boot Camp: The Transition from Medical Student to Surgical Resident. Congratulations to our other resident presenters Marissa Bonyun, Andras Fesco, Naif Alotaibi, and fellow presenter Aenone Harper.

I was delighted we could shine a light on the outstanding education scholarship that is taking place in the Department of Surgery. In my eyes, the first Education Scholars Symposium was a resounding success. I should like to sincerely thank Markku Nousiainen and David Latter for organizing a spectacular display of Departmental achievements.

Joanna Giddens, MBA, BAH;
Strategic Plan Coordinator, Department of Surgery,
University of Toronto

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