Surgical Coaching to Achieve the ABMS Vision for the Future of Continuing Board Certification

American Journal of Surgery (01/21) Vol. 221, No. 1, P. P4 Pradarelli, Jason C.; Pavuluri Quamme, Sudha R.; Yee, Andrew; et al.

Researchers propose surgical coaching as a foundational approach for realizing the American Board of Medical Specialties' (ABMS) Vision for continuing board certification in surgery. Video-based assessments (VBA) are a foundational tool for intraoperative performance improvement, and surgical coaching builds on VBA as an instrument for surgeons to act on their individualized performance data. Video-based surgical coaching has demonstrated the ability to enhance performance for students and surgical trainees in simulation and in clinical environments. Studies have cited high perceived value and downstream practice changes for surgeons in surgical coaching programs. With strong evidence indicating a link between improved technical and non-technical skill and better outcomes for patients, current surgical coaching programs have mainly focused on surgical performance. Larger studies may be necessary to measure the impact of surgical coaching on low-frequency incidents like postoperative morbidity and mortality. It is essential that surgical coaches and surgeons create rapport before initiating coaching sessions, either through in-person meetings or via video-conference or phone call. The coach can help surgeons establish individualized performance goals, organize plans to observe and discuss intraoperative performance and facilitate the creation of an action plan to hold the surgeon accountable for improving goals. These findings support the concept that surgical coaching drives professionalism in practice, lifelong learning with both self- and peer-assessment and continuing skill development to improve patient care practices. Implementing surgical coaching as a continued professional development activity that accomplishes the ABMS' Vision for continuing certification requires acceptance and collaboration of the leading surgical societies, the authors write. They should be closely involved in adopting existing, or cultivating new, surgical coaching programs to support the ABMS' goal of reworking continuing certification programs.

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