Background: In 1999, the ACGME introduced the 6 competencies that have become the basis for resident education. Since the operating room (OR) has traditionally been the major focus for resident teaching in surgery, we performed an observational study to determine whether it is an appropriate setting for the teaching and/or assessment of the competencies. Methods: A 3-person team observed 11 operations and recorded all teaching events. Observers then determined whether each event involved the teaching of a competency by faculty or demonstration of a competency by residents. Frequency counts, mean times, and ranges were calculated for each competency taught and demonstrated. Results: The Patient Care competency was both the most commonly taught and demonstrated. Faculty spent an average of 33% of operative time instructing in patient care, and residents demonstrated it 65% of the time. The Interpersonal/Communication Skills (4%) and Practice-Based Learning/Improvement (4%) competencies were also occasionally demonstrated by residents. The remaining competencies were addressed less frequently. Conclusions: OR teaching was primarily devoted to the Patient Care competency. The OR was also an appropriate setting for evaluating resident performance in this area. New approaches to OR teaching or educational efforts in other settings such as the clinic are necessary for teaching and assessing the remaining competencies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas