Training and Coaching for Improved Surgical Performance

Surgical Coaching

While performance coaching has seen significant success within athletics and business, it has not been utilized extensively within medicine. Following completion of their training, it is challenging for surgeons to find structured opportunities for in-depth feedback and performance improvement. These challenges pose risks 1) for patients through plateauing of surgeons’ technical and non-technical skills and 2) for the surgical workforce as physicians suffering from burnout have a higher likelihood of both leaving the workforce and causing medical error. In response to these issues, the Surgical Coaching for Operative Performance Enhancement (SCOPE) program was developed as a non-hierarchical, peer coaching program to provide dedicated, organized coaching for surgeons.

SCOPE was initially piloted at academic institutions in the Boston area as an attending-to-attending surgeon peer coaching program. After success at these institutions, it was expanded to new institutions within New England, including both academic and community settings. Spread of the SCOPE program has continued and partners now include both additional national and international institutions. Experience has revealed that surgeons find this activity professionally rewarding and beneficial for practice improvement and culture development. Research has also demonstrated that participating in the SCOPE program as a coach results in professional development. Further recent expansion has included trainees acting as both peer coaches and coachees.

Interested in exploring all the resources we developed about SCOPE, including a video-based workshop for coaches, a coach’s playbook, an implementation guide to implement surgical coaching at your institution, and other related resources, as well as a community of practice (registration required)?

Team Training

Enhancing surgical skills should continue long after a surgeon graduates from medical school. Ariadne Labs has developed programs aimed at ensuring surgeons pursue surgical excellence via continuous professional development and performance improvement throughout their career. 

Teamwork and communication are important skills for health care workers to provide better, safer patient care. However, such skills don’t develop automatically. In 2020, the  Safe Surgery / Safe Systems team and the American Hospital Association Team Training launched a training framework for simulation-based training of these essential skills. The program, Video-Triggered Teamwork Training, can be completed in an hour, and is an easy-to-use solution to help teams identify and apply key tactics for effective communication.