A Statewide Surgical Coaching Program Provides Opportunity for Continuous Professional Development

Caprice C. Greenberg, Hala N. Ghousseini, Sudha R. Pavuluri Quamme, Heather L. Beasley, Lane L. Frasier, Nicole A. Brys, Janet C. Dombrowski, Douglas A. Wiegmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to develop and evaluate a video-based coaching program for board-eligible/certified surgeons. Summary Background Data: Multiple disciplines utilize coaching for continuous professional development; however, coaching is not routinely employed for practicing surgeons. Methods: Peer-nominated surgeons were trained as coaches then paired with participant surgeons. After setting goals, each coaching pair reviewed video-recorded operations performed by the participating surgeon. Coaching sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded to identify topics discussed. The effectiveness with which our coaches were able to utilize the core principles and activities of coaching was evaluated using 3 different approaches: self-evaluation; evaluation by the participants; and assessment by the study team. Surveys of participating surgeons and coach-targeted interviews provided general feedback on the program. All measures utilized a 5-point Likert scale format ranging from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Results: Coach-participant surgeon pairs targeted technical, cognitive, and interpersonal aspects of performance. Other topics included managing intraoperative stress. Mean objective ratings of coach effectiveness was 3.1 ± 0.7, ranging from 2.0 to 5.0 on specific activities of coaching. Subjective ratings by coaches and participants were consistently higher. Coaches reported that the training provided effectively prepared them to facilitate coaching sessions. Participants were similarly positive about interactions with their coaches. Identified barriers were related to audio-video technology and scheduling of sessions. Overall, participants were satisfied with their experience (mean 4.4 ± 0.7) and found the coaching program valuable (mean 4.7 ± 0.7). Conclusions: This is the first report of cross-institutional surgical coaching for the continuous professional development of practicing surgeons, demonstrating perceived value among participants, as well as logistical challenges for implementing this evidence-based program. Future research is necessary to evaluate the impact of coaching on practice change and patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-873
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • continuous professional development
  • surgical coaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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