Measuring Patterns of Surgeon Confidence Using a Novel Assessment Tool.
Confidence should increase during surgical training and practice. However, few data exist regarding confidence of surgeons across this continuum. Confidence may develop differently in clinical and personal domains, or may erode as specialization or age restricts practice. A reliable scale of confidence is needed to track this competency. A novel survey was distributed to surgeons in private and academic settings. One hundred and thirty-four respondents completed this cross-sectional survey. Surgeons reported anticipated reactions to clinical scenarios within three patient care domains (acute inpatient, nonacute inpatient, and outpatient) and in personal spheres. Confidence scores were plotted against years of experience. Curves of best fit were generated and trends assessed. A subgroup completed a second survey after four years to assess the survey's reliability over time. During residency, there is steep improvement in confidence reported by surgeons in all clinical domains, with further increase for inpatient domains during transition into practice. Confidence in personal spheres also increases quickly during residency and thereafter. The surgeon confidence scale captures the expected acquisition of confidence during early surgical experience, and will have value in following trends in surgeon confidence as training and practice patterns change.
Farrell, TM; Ghaderi, I; McPhail, LE; Alger, AR; Meyers, MO; Meyer, AA
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