Education Time Out and Debrief: Structured Implementation of Perioperative Resident Technical Education Discussion

J Am Coll Surg. 2021 Jan;232(1):65-72.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2020.08.769. Epub 2020 Oct 3.


Background: We designed a model for pre- and postoperative discussions between faculty and trainees to maximize educational yield of cases and accelerate residents' technical development. We sought to study its effect on surgical education via participant perceptions and longitudinal validated performance evaluations.

Study design: Our model included preoperative collaborative technical goal-setting, specific to the resident, or "Time Out," and immediate postoperative granular feedback guided by validated evaluation tools, or "Debrief." We encouraged routine use for two 3-month rotations. We administered surveys with Likert scale and open-ended questions before and after implementation to assess adoption and perceptions. Likert scale survey data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney U tests; reported time durations were analyzed using t-tests. At 2 time points per rotation, designated faculty evaluated participating residents using the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) for open/endoscopic cases or Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Skills (GEARS). OSATS and GEARS data were analyzed using paired t-tests.

Results: Before our intervention, we noted significant differences between attending and resident physicians' perceptions of the frequency, importance, and challenges of perioperative educational discussions. After our intervention, these disparities resolved. In addition, participants reported significantly improved satisfaction with pre- and postoperative educational discussions (p = 0.01). Use of the model did not require increased time per participants' report. Paired GEARS/OSATS were completed for 9 trainees during the intervention, with faculty ratings revealing significant improvement in resident technical skills (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Our structured model for perioperative educational discussions, consisting of the preoperative "Education Time Out" and postoperative "Education Debrief," significantly improved faculty and resident satisfaction and was associated with measurable improvements in resident technical skills without requiring significantly more time.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Perioperative Period / education*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / education*
  • Teaching