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  • Pilot Project to Assess and Improve Neurosurgery Resident and Staff Perception of Feedback to Residents for Self-Improvement Goal Formation

    Final Number:

    Steven Tenny MD, MPH, MBA; Kyle Schmidt; William E. Thorell MD

    Study Design:

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2018 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has pushed for more frequent and comprehensive feedback for residents during their training but there is scant evidence for how neurosurgery residents view the current feedback system as used to provide self-improvement information and goal formation. We set forth to assess neurosurgery resident and staff perceptions of the current resident feedback system in providing Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART) goals. We then wished to create a pilot project to improve the most unfavorably viewed aspect of the feedback system.

    Methods: We conducted an anonymous survey of neurosurgery residents and staff at an academic medical institution to assess SMART goals for resident feedback and used the results to create a pilot intervention to address the least favorable viewed part. We conducted a post-intervention survey to see if perceptions had improved for the targeted intervention.

    Results: Neurosurgery residents and staff completed an anonymous online survey indicating timeliness of feedback was the most significant concern for feedback for neurosurgery residents. A simple anonymous feedback form was created and distributed monthly to neurosurgery residents, staff and nurses with the results reported monthly to each resident for six months. In the post-intervention survey neurosurgery residents and staff had changed from a negative to non-negative opinion on the timeliness of resident feedback (p=0.01).

    Conclusions: The required ACGME feedback methods may not be providing adequate feedback for goal formation for self-improvement for neurosurgery residents. Simple interventions, such as anonymous feedback questionnaires, can improve neurosurgery resident and staff perception of feedback to residents for self-improvement and goal formation.

    Patient Care: Part of creating better neurosurgeons is adequate and appropriate feedback for neurosurgery residents during training. This study identifies a simple method to improve neurosurgery feedback in a meaningful way which improves neurosurgery training and ultimately patient care.

    Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: 1) identify possible methods to assess resident satisfaction with feedback, 2) recognize shortcomings in the ACGME required feedback mechanism.


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