Educational value of the operating room experience during a core surgical clerkship

Jennifer L. Irani, Jacob A. Greenberg, Maria A. Blanco, Caprice C. Greenberg, Stanley Ashley, Stuart R. Lipsitz, Janet Palmer Hafler, Elizabeth Breen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: The amount and content of medical student teaching in the operating room and its alignment with clerkship goals was unknown. Methods: A qualitative research design using field observations, followed by qualitative and quantitative data coding and analysis. Results: A mean of 9.8% of the total case time (range 1.6%-20.2%) was spent teaching clerkship goals. Teaching strategies based on basic principles of learning were used during a mean of 66% of the total case time (range 30%-99%). The most common teaching strategy was active student participation (28%) followed by command (14%) and lecture (13%). Educational experience in the OR was rated 4.0 (out of 5) by faculty and 3.3 by students. No correlation existed between student satisfaction and time actively participating in the operation or time spent teaching to clerkship goals (P = .66, P = .95, respectively). Conclusion: Teaching in the OR is more focused on technical aspects of the operation than the goals of a core surgery clerkship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Operating room
  • Surgical education
  • Teaching and learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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