Background: A surgical team often consists of an experienced surgeon and surgeons in training. This project quantified the contribution of the experienced surgeon to the teamwork in a team comprised of 1 experienced and 1 novice surgeon (Mixed Team).
Methods: An experienced and a novice surgeon in a Mixed Team were required to complete a peg transportation task and an intracorporeal suture task collaboratively. Tasks were evaluated by a summative score (up to 100 points) that was calculated on task speed and accuracy. Performances of 24 Mixed Teams were compared to 24 Novice Teams (each composed of 2 novices) and 8 Expert Teams (each composed of 2 experienced surgeons).
Results: The Mixed Teams performed better (67.6 points) than the Novice Teams (51.3; P < .001) but worse than the Expert Teams (88.3; P < .001). When examining individual performance in the Mixed Teams, we observed that experienced surgeons maintained their superior performance like they did in the Expert Teams (P = .153). Novices in the Mixed Teams, however, showed markedly better performances than they did in the Novice Teams (P = .024).
Conclusion: Instant guidance and instruction from experienced surgeons inspire novices' performance, providing a foundation for surgical teamwork effectiveness.
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