Assessing Teaching and Learning in the Operating Room
This research area leverages a core expertise of C-STAR researchers, psychometrics, to investigate the many ways in which faculty teach and residents learn as they progress toward the goal of becoming competent, independent surgeons. Much of this type of work focuses specifically on establishing the validity and reliability of assessment tools in order to identify highly reliable, valid measures that can be used in other research and improvement domains.
Demonstrating Trust and Entrustable Behaviors
Trust is a critical factor among teachers and learners in the OR, impacting how attending surgeons safely grant increasing autonomy to residents and, similarly, how residents safely demonstrate behaviors worthy of greater independence. Ongoing work is related to role of trust in residents' progression to autonomy and independence, including identifying entrustable behaviors and specialty-specific procedural milestones.
Learning Curves for Core Procedures
Another initiative in the Center focuses on establishing learning curves for all Core General Surgery procedures. The project, in collaboration with the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative (PLSC) uses educational data science approaches to establish these learning analytic models. Much of the data generated has come from SIMPL, a novel mobile assessment app maintained by researchers at the University of Michigan, now used by many training programs across the United States.
Additional Center efforts aim to develop measures and resident-specific models of current and predicted future trainee performance. Such models can be used to individualize the curriculum and coaching for each trainee, ensuring optimal educational outcomes. These data-intensive methods may serve as the basis for ushering residency training toward "precision" surgical educational practice.
Connecting Assessment Outcomes with Patient Outcomes
With unique access to key data, including several major national patient outcomes and trainee performance data sets, U-M investigators are delving into the connections between surgical trainee assessment measures and patient outcomes data. Identifying these connections enables surgical education leaders to develop evidence-based policies, a critical opportunity.
Culture and Leadership Development
Efforts in this domain center on physician wellness, the impact of personality and gender on entrustment in the operating room, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in surgical education. For example, Dr. Sandhu has played a major role in the Doctors of Tomorrow program designed to increase diversity in surgical education. The experientially-based program brings underrepresented minority high school students to U-M, where they shadow and are mentored by medical students and faculty. C-STAR faculty also are developing a two-year Residents as Educators curriculum, designed to help residents entering academic careers develop the skills needed to train medical students.