Optimizing resident operative self-confidence through competency-based surgical education modules: are we there yet?
Introduction and hypothesis
Self-confidence is the belief in one’s ability to perform and can be enhanced by training. Surgical education should aim to optimize trainee confidence. We designed three procedure-specific competency-based modules to teach vaginal hysterectomy (VH), anterior (AR) and posterior repair (PR) to novice gynecology residents. We hypothesized each module would improve self-confidence and satisfaction during index procedure performance in the operating room.
This was an ancillary analysis of a larger randomized-controlled trial of gynecologic educational interventions. Residents at three Canadian universities were included if they had previously performed fewer than five index procedures independently. Intervention residents received educational modules; controls engaged in self-directed learning. All residents performed one or more of the three surgeries and filled out a validated Self-Confidence Scale and a Satisfaction Scale. Scores were compared between groups. Correlations were sought between self-confidence and various variables.
Forty-six residents at three Canadian universities were randomized (21 intervention, 25 control). Most residents had never performed the index procedure. Overall, self-confidence was significantly higher (p = 0.021) in the intervention group for VH, but not for AR and PR (p = 0.94 and p = 0.12, respectively). Compared with controls, self-confidence was also significantly higher in intervention residents who had never performed VH (p = 0.026) or PR (p = 0.027) and in first and second year intervention residents. There was a positive correlation between self-confidence and satisfaction.
Surgical modules improved self-confidence preferentially in the most junior residents and for more complicated procedures. The wide self-confidence ranges observed suggest that optimization should be an important goal for surgical educators.
KeywordsCompetency-based surgical education Gynecology Junior residents Self-confidence
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
• R Geoffrion: Preceptor/proctor Boston Scientific Capio and Obtryx devices; Advisory Board Duchesnay.
• N Todd: Advisory board, Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
• Remaining authors claim no conflict of interest.
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