Are you attending the 2023 Clinical Congress October 22-25 in Boston? If so, we invite you to participate in an important research initiative being conducted by Dr. Carla Pugh, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Technology-Enabled Clinical Improvement (TECI) Center at Stanford University and supported by the Academy for Surgical Coaching.
Dr. Pugh and the Academy are partnering together for the Surgery: Assess/Validate/Expand (SAVE) Program, an initiative funded by Wellcome LEAP to advance surgical education and practice. The goal of our collaborative project is to demonstrate how the combination of surgical data and surgical coaching can reduce the time to practice for surgical residents. The Clinical Congress provides a critical research opportunity, and we need your help.
As in previous years, the TECI team is asking surgeons to perform simulated procedures during the conference and will be collecting data on their performance with their wearable technology. Two new aspects are being added to this year’s simulations:
Coaches will be calibrated and wear an EEG Sensor. Participants will take part in a simulated laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure and laparoscopic suturing task held in the exhibit hall during the 2023 ACS Clinical Congress. The simulation will consist of two tasks: the dissection and clipping of the cystic artery and duct; and the placing of a laparoscopic suture. Surgical coaches will observe the simulation participants in real time, roughly a 30-minute procedure, and then lead a 15-minute coaching session focused on gap analysis and goal setting.
Coaches and participants will meet directly following the procedure. After the initial discussion, the surgical data report will be provided, at which point the coach and participant will be asked to determine if they would adjust any of the previous procedural steps based on the data provided. Following the coaching session, coaches and participants will be asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire and participate in a structured interview. Surgical coaches participating in the research should have laparoscopic experience but do not need specific experience with lap choles.
Our goal is to have 10 surgical coaches on hand from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on October 23, 24, and 25. Coaches can sign up for blocks of time based on your availability during the conference and will be provided with a stipend of $125 per hour for your participation.
We hope that you will join us for this important opportunity to help advance the study of surgical training and surgical coaching. If you are interested in participating, please indicate your interest and availability here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L79ZGLY
We encourage coaches to sign up for as many hours as you are available throughout the three-day period.
The Academy for Surgical Coaching, a surgical education organization that empowers surgeons to improve their performance through coaching, and supported by Intuitive digital technologies, today announced that the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the largest professional society for GI surgeons, will partner with The Academy to pilot the SAGES Surgical Coaching Program. The SAGES Surgical Coaching Program will support SAGES members as they transition from training to practice through collaboration with Academy-trained Surgical Coaches to help new-to-practice surgeons transition into the role of practicing surgeon.
Today’s surgeons face a challenging transition from training to independent practice. By the end of their training, surgeons have nearly completed medical education, received continuous feedback from mentors and other supports, and are preparing to independently practice surgery. Following graduation, new-to-practice surgeons need to connect with new supports at their employer, a frequent challenge for new surgeons. Changes in resources and feedback make the transition to independent practice especially challenging, creating an ideal time for coaches to support surgeons through the transition to independent practice.
“Being a surgical coach is a rewarding way that I can give back to the surgical community and welcome my new colleagues to the practice of surgery,” said Jacob Greenberg, MD, a Surgical Coach, gastrointestinal surgeon at Duke University, and the lead surgeon for the SAGES Surgical Coaching Program. “Surgical coaching is a great way to take on big career transitions by keeping focused and accountable to your own goals and career path.”
Surgical coaching is a process where a surgeon identifies clear goals for changing surgical practice, takes steps to achieve those goals, works to overcome barriers and reflects on successes and failures. A Surgical Coach guides goal-driven conversations, holds the surgeon accountable to making changes, and asks thoughtful questions to uncover the hidden “why” underlying behavior. The process of Surgical Coaching has been investigated in numerous peer-reviewed clinical studies and has been shown to help surgeons make lasting changes to their practice and to become safer and more effective surgeons. In the SAGES Surgical Coaching Program, SAGES members who are within 18 months of finishing their training are eligible to partner with one of thirty Surgical Coaches with a specialty in gastrointestinal surgery. Surgeons and coaches meet via an integrated technology platform that allows them to review videos of operating room performance and access advanced video analytics.
More information about the program and a list of trained Surgical Coaches is available at /sages/
The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is a leading surgical society representing a global community of more than 7,000 surgeons bringing minimal access surgery and emerging techniques to patients worldwide. SAGES mission is to innovate, educate and collaborate to improve patient care with a vision of reimagining surgical care for a healthier world. For more information, go to https://www.sages.org.
World-class athletes, musicians and teachers work with coaches to go from being great to being world-class. The Academy for Surgical Coaching is a nonprofit organization to bring coaching to surgeons. The Surgical Coaching program was developed through academic research in collaboration with major academic medical centers and has been proven in randomized clinical trials to change the way surgeons do surgery. The Academy for Surgical Coaching trains surgeons to become Surgical Coaches, pairs surgeons with Surgical Coaches, and manages coaching programs. Coaching surgeons involves slowing down and developing new ways of thinking about surgery through goal setting, action-planning and follow up. The Academy for Surgical Coaching has trained over 250 Surgical Coaches and conducted over 400 hours of surgical coaching. For more information visit /.
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Three interesting pieces came across our desk this Winter, providing new perspectives on Surgical Coaching.
Megan Orlando and Surgical Coach and Academy VP, Cara King, published an opinion piece in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology with an update on the current evidence supporting surgical coaching as a method for performance improvement by obstetricians and gynecologists. They conclude:
With significant variations across Obstetrics and Gynecology training programs and an ever-changing landscape of new surgical challenges and technologies, there is a need for innovation to optimize surgical performance. The [American Board of Medical Specialities] has created specific recommendations on how continuing certification must change. Surgical coaching offers an opportunity to help meet those recommendations by tailoring practice change to individual surgeons through goal-setting, self-reflection, and ongoing feedback. We believe implementation of surgical coaching in Obstetrics and Gynecology has the potential to improve performance, provide lifelong learning, and promote excellence in patient care.
Surgical Coach and practicing surgeon Sofia Valanci-Aroesty and colleagues at McGill University published findings from their international survey of surgeons about their attitudes toward peer coaching and the design of future coaching programs. We have been following this work from its inception and were eager to learn what they found. The three most interesting findings were:
These survey findings bring forward an interesting gap. Surgical coaching is available to all surgeons through the Academy for Surgical Coaching. How do we get the word out to more surgeons?
The Cleveland Clinic has an internal coaching program that includes surgeon coaching. We were thrilled to see their program featured in Becker’s Hospital Review, an important trade magazine for hospital executives. They surveyed coaching program participants and asked “To what degree has your participation in the Center for Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring programming contributed to your decision to stay at Cleveland Clinic?” Of the 500+ participants in their coaching program, 197 said that the coaching program influenced their decision to stay. Based on the cost of turnover and the annual emoployee’s salary, “they have calculated a potential cost savings of more than $133 million attributed to program participation.” This figure contributes to the ongoing discussion of the indirect cost savings from supporting healthcare professionals’ development and wellness.
Orlando MS, Greenberg CC, Pavuluri Quamme SR, Yee A, Faerber AE, King CR. Surgical coaching in Obstetrics and Gynecology: an evidence-based strategy to elevate surgical education and promote lifelong learning. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Feb 14:S0002-9378(22)00105-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.02.006. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35176285.
Valanci-Aroesty, S., Feldman, L.S., Fiore, J.F. et al. Considerations for designing and implementing a surgical peer coaching program: an international survey. Surg Endosc (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-021-08760-z
Gleeson C. How Cleveland Clinic has saved $133M in physician retention. Beckers Hosp Rev. 2021 Nov 23. Available online: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-physician-relationships/how-cleveland-clinic-has-saved-133m-in-physician-retention.html
In this recent episode of the Audible Bleeding podcast, Carlos Bechara, a Surgical Coach and vascular surgeon, has a coaching conversation with William Shutze, vascular surgeon, about managing all of the demands on his time.
“As I become more involved in my career, the demands on my time are increasing. However, I have noticed it is taking time away from being able to focus on my patients. I delegate to trainees and nurse practitioners, but sometimes things are slipping through that are not helping my patients.”
William and Carlos also discuss the Society for Vascular Surgery Coaching Program, in partnership with the Academy for Surgical Coaching.
Additional evidence showing the benefits of Surgical Coaching was recently published in Annals of Surgery. This NIH-funded study was a collaboration between the Michigan Bariatric Surgical Collaborative and members of the Academy team. We asked if surgical coaching improved surgeon operative performance. We found that surgical coaching helped reduce surgeon operative time, reducing average operative time from 92.5 minutes down to 78.5 minutes, a difference of 14 minutes (15%).
The setting was the Michigan Bariatric Surgical Collaborative (MBSC), a state-wide network of surgeons that share details about their practice to improve surgical care for patients. In 2015 to 2018, in collaboration with the Academy for Surgical Coaching cofounders Caprice Greenberg and Sudha Pavuluri Quamme, MSBC rolled out a coaching program to improve operative performance.
The top-performing surgeons in MSBC were selected to receive surgical coach training. The remaining MSBC-enrolled surgeons were invited to participate and receive coaching. In total, the program trained 14 Surgical Coaches, enrolled 26 surgeon participants, and analyzed a panel of 24 surgeons who met the inclusion criteria to serve as a non-interventional control. The Surgical Coaches and surgeon participants met, on average, for six 1-hour coaching sessions. Outcomes were evaluated through participant feedback and systematic collection of procedural data within the MSBC.
This program was the largest clinical study of the benefits of surgical coaching to date, and one of the first interventional studies of Surgical Coaching to evaluate short-term operative outcomes. This research adds to the body of Surgical Coaching literature that has demonstrated that Surgical Coaching is feasible and acceptable for busy surgeons in practice (1, 2), has a high perceived value for professional development (1, 4), can increase safe adoption of new beneficial techniques (3), can improve teamwork, communication, and awareness in OR (4, 5), has potential to improve surgeon well-being and patient outcomes (4, 5).
Rosemont, Ill., April 7, 2021 – The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the Academy for Surgical Coaching today announced a partnership to develop a first-of-its-kind coaching program that strengthens wellness support for vascular surgeons. Studies have demonstrated that physicians across specialties are experiencing an increase in burnout, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. This is due to the rewarding, yet demanding, nature of their work and the barriers preventing them from providing optimal patient care.
Research conducted by the SVS Wellness Task Force has reinforced and replicated many of these findings within the specialty of vascular surgery. With this new program, customized to vascular surgery, SVS aims to address the triggers of burnout and provide wellness support through coaching intervention.
“We are excited about our partnership with the Academy for Surgical Coaching and consider it a shining example of how we are listening and responding to our members regarding wellness initiatives,” said Dawn Coleman, MD, co-chair of the SVS Wellness Task Force. “We believe we are one of the first medical societies to take the translational step from studying and discussing the issues to providing service and support for members.”
Initially, SVS hopes to recruit and train a dozen vascular surgeons to become certified surgical coaches, each of whom will be paired with as many as two vascular surgeons seeking support for a three-month period. Over the course of a year, it is hoped each surgical coach will work with up to four SVS members. SVS will expand the program if evaluation demonstrates success.
“Our experience shows surgeons love working with surgical coaches because it changes the way they think about their practice,” said Caprice Greenberg, MD, MPH, the president and co-founder of the Academy for Surgical Coaching. “The coaching sessions will focus on identifying challenges, setting goals and pushing for continuous improvement. Surgeons can discuss operative performance, leadership skills, clinical judgement or self-regulation. The surgical coach is there to support vascular surgeons to achieve their individualized and self-identified goals.”
As practicing vascular surgeons themselves, the surgical coaches will be well positioned to help their colleagues manage professional challenges and ultimately increase job satisfaction. Additionally, peer-to-peer support will help minimize the isolation associated with vascular surgery and destigmatize the culture of “complacent suffering.”
“We want to make sure we address the inherent issues, such as emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, that might be contributing to burnout among vascular surgeons,” said Niten Singh, MD, co-designer of the program. “We will focus on these issues first.”
Vascular surgeons are highly trained specialists focused on prevention and treatment of vascular disease, affecting the veins and arteries in every part of the body, excluding the brain and heart. Vascular surgery is the only specialty trained to deliver comprehensive care, across the full spectrum of treatment options from medical management, to minimially invasive intervention, to open surgery.
Funding support for this program is made possible in part by a grant from W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., as part of the SVS Quality Practice Block Grant program.
About the Society for Vascular Surgery
The Society for Vascular Surgery is the leading not-for-profit, professional medical society on establishing causes and treatments for vascular disease. SVS seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research and public awareness and is composed of specialty-trained vascular surgeons who are dedicated to providing comprehensive care for vascular disease. For more information visit www.vascular.org. Follow the SVS on Facebook @VascularHealth, Twitter @VascularSVS and Instagram @societyforvascularsurgery.
About The Academy for Surgical Coaching
Coaches support athletes, musicians and teachers to go from being great to being world-class. The Academy for Surgical Coaching is changing the way surgeons learn through partnerships with Surgical Coaches. Surgical Coaches are surgeons with additional training in guiding surgeons to develop new ways of thinking about surgery and improving their practice through goal-setting, action-planning and follow up. The Surgical Coaching program was developed through academic research in collaboration with major academic medical centers and has been proven in clinical trials to change the way surgeons do surgery. The Academy for Surgical Coaching trains surgeons to become Surgical Coaches, pairs surgeons with Surgical Coaches, and manages coaching programs. The Academy for Surgical Coaching has trained over 130 Surgical Coaches and conducted over 300 hours of surgical coaching. The Academy for Surgical Coaching is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information visit https://surgicalcoaching.org.
The Academy is pleased to announce that we provide continuing medical education credits (CMEs) for both surgeons receiving coaching and surgical coaches. Through a partnership with the American College of Surgeons, each coaching session will count as 1 hour CME for the surgeon and the Surgical Coach.
For a surgeon who is working with a surgical coach to improve their practice can earn up to 4 CMEs for a 3-month coaching engagement, and up to 8 CMEs for a 12-month engagement. For Surgical Coaches, the initial training course will provide 5.25 CME. A Surgical Coach can receive up to an additional 8 CMEs per year for coaching activities.
If you are interested in learning more about connecting with a Surgical Coach, or Surgical Coach training, Contact Us.
The Academy wrapped up our first fiscal year on October 31, 2020. After launching in December 2019, the Academy has rapidly grown our team, formed new partnerships, and equipping surgeons with Surgical Coaches. Some highlights include: