The Surgical Autonomy Program: A Pilot Study of Social Learning Theory Applied to Competency-Based Neurosurgical Education.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Over the last decade, strict duty hour policies, pressure for increased work related value units from faculty, and the apprenticeship model of education have coalesced to make opportunities for intraoperative teaching more challenging. Evidence is emerging that graduating residents are not exhibiting competence by failing to recognize major complications, and perform routine operations independently. In this pilot study, we combine Vygotsky's social learning theory with a modified version of the competency-based scale called TAGS to study 1 single operation, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, with 3 individual residents taught by a single faculty member. In order for the 3 residents to achieve "Solo and Observe" in all 4 zones of proximal development, the number of cases required was 10 cases for postgraduate year (PGY)-3a, 19 cases for PGY 3b, and 22 cases for the PGY 2. In this pilot study, the time required to complete an independent 2-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion by the residents correlated with the number of cases to reach competence. We demonstrate the Surgical Autonomy Program's ability to track neurosurgical resident's educational progress and the feasibility of using the Surgical Autonomy Program (SAP) to teach residents in the operating room and provide immediate formative feedback. Ultimately, the SAP represents a paradigm shift towards a modern, scalable competency-focused subspecialty teaching, evaluation and assessment tool that provides increases in resident's autonomy and metacognitive skills, as well as immediate formative feedback.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Haglund, MM; Cutler, AB; Suarez, A; Dharmapurikar, R; Lad, SP; McDaniel, KE

Published Date

  • March 15, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 88 / 4

Start / End Page

  • E345 - E350

PubMed ID

  • 33471893

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4040

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/neuros/nyaa556


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States