The utility of the matrix format for surgical morbidity and mortality conference

Varun K. Bhalla, Luke Boone, Frank Lewis, Angela L. Gucwa, E. James Kruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


With the limitations posed by increasing work hour restrictions, surgical residency programs are focusing more on maximizing the educational benefit of their conferences. The Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conference serves as a forum to discuss adverse events and patient care improvement using evidence-based medicine. The matrix format (MF) is an enhancement to the traditional format (TF), focusing on the case selection process and a postconference newsletter reiterating the relevant literature review and discussion points. Our institution adopted theMF to evaluate both its short- and long-term educational values. Surveys were distributed to residents and faculty within the Department of General Surgery to assess their interest and satisfaction, perception of educational value, and efficiency with the MF compared with the TF. Responses were obtained from 22/22 (100%) residents for the TF and 11/23 (48%) for the MF. Faculty responses were 19/19 (100%) and 9/16 (56%), respectively. Reasons for an overall decreased response with the MF were not investigated further, as participation was strictly voluntary. Our results confirmed an overall approval of the MF by both residents and faculty. Faculty reported an improved efficiency of the conference (P<0.039), encompassing improved content and presentation quality. Residents reported an improved overall interest and satisfaction with the MF (P<0.001) as well as an improvement in the educational value (P<0.007). Residents spent less time preparing presentations and reported learning greater educational benefit to the conference when preparing their own presentations (P<0.001). In conclusion, the MF resulted in a greater overall satisfaction for residents and attending surgeons with an increased investment by the audience and overall improvement in perceived educational benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-506
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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