How to Teach in the Operating Room

  • Morgan K. RichardsEmail author
  • Erik G. Van Eaton


Teaching in the operating room (OR) is the cornerstone of surgical education. Giving immediate and specific feedback while operating requires deliberate practice for the instructor and should be done during every case. In recent years, surgical residents are provided less and less independence in the OR as a consequence of regulatory and financial pressures. Coincident with this, or perhaps as a consequence, graduating trainees seem underprepared for independence in the OR. Teachers must constantly balance the quality and safety of patient care with the learner’s need to make independent decisions and gain hands-on experience. While it is tempting to sacrifice resident instruction in the name of short-term patient safety, teachers must also consider a long-term perspective on patient safety whereby surgeons who have insufficient operative training also place patients at risk. Finally, time is short, so leverage OR processes already in place for teaching.


Operating room Feedback Self-assessment Zwisch model Decision-making Technical skills 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA

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