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Developed by the 2016 ACS Surgical Training Workgroup

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Training and assessment of residents to achieve operative independence

The goal of the Zwisch model is to provide both faculty and residents with specific stages of supervision allowing for adequate, safe training in a graduated manner to develop fully trained surgeons.

The four stages of the Zwisch model of supervision are as follows:

  • Show and tell

  • Smart help

  • Dumb help

  • No help


The Briefing, Intraoperative teaching, Debriefing model for teaching in the O.R.

The BID method is a simple approach to surgical education that was shown to significantly improve acquisition of surgical skills.

  • Briefing: the attending has a short interaction at the scrub sink to assess the needs of the learner.

  • Intraoperative Teaching: teaching during the case is tailored to the ‘learning objectives’ identified in the briefing session.

  • Debriefing: while closing, debriefing is performed to promote reflection on the part of the learner, teach general rules, reinforce what was right, and correct mistakes.

Old-Fashioned Clock

The ‘One Minute Mentor’ - How to Teach when Time is Limited:

Many of us are extremely busy and have difficulty finding time for clinical teaching. The One Minute Mentor is a technique to help busy clinicians effectively assess, instruct, and give feedback to learners. Teaching in small increments during patient care can provide powerful learning experiences for trainees.


Five steps to using the One Minute Mentor:
     1. Get a Commitment – What do you think is going on?
     2. Probe for supporting eEvidence – What lead you to that conclusion?
     3. Teach general rules – When this happens, do this…
     4. Reinforce what was right – Specifically, you did an excellent job of…
     5. Correct mistakes – Next time this happens, try this…..


Impacting Surgical Education Globally

The Association for Surgical Education was formed in 1980 and its 850 members represent over 190 medical schools and institutions throughout the United States and Canada. The mission of the Association for Surgical Education is to promote, recognize, and reward excellence, innovation and scholarship in surgical education.


Training for Leaders in Surgical Education

This six-day intensive course, offered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education, is designed to provide surgeons with the knowledge and skills to enhance their abilities as teachers and administrators of surgical education programs. The course emphasizes the needs of adult learners and the techniques necessary to develop an effective learning environment for medical students, surgical residents, and colleagues. The class size is limited, and participants are carefully selected to foster highly interactive sessions.

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Advancing the science and practice of surgical education and training 

The Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™ has been created to continually advance the science and practice of education—teaching, learning, assessment, and scholarship—across all specialties of surgery through innovation and promotion of the highest achievements in lifelong learning. Approved by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents in 2014, the Academy has been charged to identify and recruit innovators and thought leaders committed to education and to translate innovation into action.


Educational tools to improve the quality and efficiency of intraoperative resident education.

Surgical training and education has evolved substantially over the last several decades in response to new technologies, regulations, and practices. In an effort to address these changes, a multitude of teaching and assessment methods were created to maximize teaching opportunities in the OR. Educators and institutions that embrace these new methods of teaching place themselves in an optimal position to train the next generation of surgeons. Each of these methods varies in terms of focus and mode of implementation, but they all share a common goal of maximizing the development of the surgical resident by encouraging proficiency in surgery.

Applying educational theory in practice

How many times have we as educators been confronted with situations in which we really were not sure what to do? We “flew by the seat of our pants,” usually doing with our learners what had been done with us. It would be useful to be able to turn to a set of guiding principles based on evidence, or at least on long term successful experience. Fortunately, a body of theory exists that can inform practice. This article describes several educational theories and guiding principles and then shows how these could be applied to three case studies relating to the “real world.”

Teacher Training Programs for Clinicians

Concise and practical - written for clinicians in the front line - the 14 tips cover a wide range of clinical teaching topics, and incorporate educational theory as well as practical information and ideas for implementation. Each topic is of high interest to doctors who are teaching in their practice.


Developed by the 2016 ACS Surgical Training Workgroup

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