Surgical Coaching for Operative Performance Enhancement (SCOPE)

Credit: STRATUS Center for Medical Simulation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The Problem
Accessing meaningful, professional development opportunities has become a major challenge for practicing surgeons. Surgical residents are immersed in an educational environment that develops their professional knowledge and skills. However, this environment largely disappears once they enter professional practice. There are also limited opportunities for practicing surgeons to improve their clinical performance via existing or new procedures.

Our Solution
The Surgical Coaching for Operative Performance Enhancement (SCOPE) Program aims to enable every surgeon to pursue surgical excellence via continuous professional development and performance improvement. Improving performance ultimately benefits patients, for whom we strive to provide the best surgical care during every operation.

Surgical coaching involves a partnership between two surgeons that uses collaborative analysis, constructive feedback, and action planning to achieve professional development goals that they identify. Coaching differs from teaching and mentorship in its emphasis to empower surgeons to become their own agents of change. Coaches work with “coachees” through intraoperative observation and postoperative debriefing sessions to target improvements in their performance on technical, non-technical, and teaching skills.

Ariadne Labs helps develop and implement the SCOPE program within hospital surgical departments. Our team and partners also conduct coaching workshops for all participants. The goal is to implement department-wide surgical coaching programs where attending surgeons (coaches) coach other peer surgeons (coachees) to enable deliberate practice and continuous professional development.

Program Structure
Coaches and coachees collaborate and target improvements during all aspects of surgery:

  • Preoperative: Coaches and coachees discuss the coachee’s goals.
  • Intraoperative: Coaches observe a coachee’s operation without scrubbing in.
  • Postoperative: Coaches provide feedback on the coachee’s progress toward their performance goals.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital are currently participating in the SCOPE Program.

For more information on the SCOPE Program, please email