Training Future Surgeons for Management Roles
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OBJECTIVE To demonstrate that senior surgical residents would benefit from focused training by professionals with management expertise. Although managerial skills are recognized as necessary for the successful establishment of a surgical practice, they are not often emphasized in traditional surgical residency curricula. DESIGN Senior residents from all surgical subspecialties at McGill University were invited to participate in a 1-day management seminar. Precourse questionnaires aimed at evaluating the residents' perceptions of their own managerial knowledge and preparedness were circulated. The seminar was then given in the form of interactive lectures and case-based discussions. The questionnaires were readministered at the end of the course, along with an evaluation form. Precourse and postcourse data were compared using the Freeman-Halton extension of the Fisher exact test to determine statistical significance (P < .05). SETTING McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. PARTICIPANTS A total of 43 senior residents. RESULTS Before the course, the majority of residents (27 of 43 [63%]) thought that management instruction only happened "from time to time" in their respective programs. After the course, 15 residents (35%) felt that management topics were "well addressed," and 19 (44%) felt that management topics have been "very well addressed" (P < .01). Residents noted a significant improvement in their ability to perform the following skills after the course: giving feedback, delegating duties, coping with stress, effective learning, and effective teaching. On the ensemble of all managerial skills combined, 26 residents (60%) rated their performance as "good" or "excellent" after the course vs only 21 (49%) before the course (P = .02). Residents also noted a statistically significant improvement in their ability to perform the managerial duties necessary for the establishment of a surgical practice. CONCLUSIONS Surgical residency programs have the responsibility of preparing their residents for leadership and managerial roles in their future careers. An annual seminar serves as a starting point that could be built on for incorporating formal management training in surgical residency curricula.
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