Defining the Resident Role in the Operating Room
By Heather Logghe, MD
In recent years, expectations and requirements for attending supervision of residents in the operating room has increased. This has led to ambiguity for both residents and attendings as to how and when operative autonomy is earned, appropriate, and safe. Another area of uncertainty is when, how, and by whom the resident’s role should be described and explained to the patient. Research in thoracic surgery by Meyerson et al. showed that while trainees’ and attendings’ expectations of resident autonomy did not differ, both groups expected higher levels of autonomy than were observed.
The January #AWSchat will explore these issues through facilitated questions led by three distinguished moderators:
- Dr. Shari Meyerson (@lungteacher), thoracic surgeon and Program Director for the General and Thoracic Surgery Residency Programs at Northwestern, Feinberg School of Medicine
- Dr. Nell Maloney Patel (@MaloneyNell), AWS member, colorectal surgeon, and General Surgery Residency Program Director at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
- Dr. Rebecca Hoffman (@drbeckyhoffman), Vice Chair of the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons Executive Committee as well as Research Fellow at the Center for Surgery and Health Economics and Chief General Surgery Resident at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
In the chat, scheduled on January 15 @ 8PM EST using the hashtag #AWSchat, we will explore the following questions:
- As a resident, how much should I “do” in a case? Who gets to decide?
- As an attending, what metrics do I use to decide how much a resident does in a case?
- How should the discrepancies in expectations of autonomy in the operating room between resident and attending be resolved?
- How much transparency is owed to patients regarding the resident’s role in the OR?
- Who should discuss the #surgresident role in the #OR with the #patient?
Dr. Logghe is a longtime member of AWS and currently a Surgical Research Fellow at Thomas Jefferson University. She graduated medical school at the University of California, San Francisco and has completed two years of general surgery residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. As founder of the #ILookLikeASurgeon social media movement, she is passionate about creating an inclusive and supportive environment for surgeons in training and practice. She believes that supporting physicians in optimizing their own physical and emotional health enables surgeons to take the best possible care of their patients.
Our blog is a forum for our members to speak, and as such, statements made here represent the opinions of the author and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association of Women Surgeons.