How I Learned is How I Teach – Perspectives on How Faculty Surgeons Approach Informed Consent Education

How I Learned is How I Teach – Perspectives on How Faculty Surgeons Approach Informed Consent Education
Erin M. White, Andrew C. Esposito, Vadim Kurbatov, Xujun Wang, Michael G. Caty, Maxwell Laurans, Peter S. Yoo
Journal of Surgical Education, 15 October 2022
To understand the variability of surgical attending experience and perspectives regarding informed consent and how it impacts resident education
A novel survey was distributed electronically to explore faculty surgeon’s personal learning experience, knowledge, clinical practice, teaching preferences and beliefs regarding informed consent. Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis testing was performed to look for associations and a cluster analysis was performed to elucidate additional patterns among.
Single, tertiary, university-affiliated health care system (Yale New Haven Health in Connecticut), including 6 teaching hospitals.
Clinical faculty within the Department of Surgery.
A total of 85 surgeons responded (49% response rate), representing 17 specialties, both private practice and university and/or hospital-employed, with a range of years in practice. Across all ages, specialties, the most common method for both learning (86%) and teaching (82%) informed consent was observation of the attending. Respondents who stated they learned by observing attendings were more likely to report that they teach by having trainees observe them (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.3-56.5) and participants who recalled learning by having attendings observe them were more likely to observe their trainees (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.5-11.2).Cluster analysis revealed 5 different attending phenotypes with significant heterogeneity between groups. A cluster of younger attendings reported the least diverse learning experience and high levels of concern for legal liability and resident competency. They engaged in few strategies for teaching residents. By comparison, the cluster that reported the most diverse learning experience also reported the richest diversity of teaching strategies to residents but rarely allowed residents to perform consent with their patients. Meanwhile, 2 other cluster provided a more balanced experience with some opportunities for practice with patients and some diversity of teaching– these clusters, respectively, consist of older, experienced general surgeons and surgeons in trauma and/or critical care.
Surgeon’s demographics, personal experiences, and specialty appear to significantly influence their teaching styles and the educational experience residents receive regarding informed consent.

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