Dr. Gustavo Stringel Discusses Surgical Expertise and the Efficient Use of Training Hours by gustavostringel


									Dr. Gustavo Stringel Discusses Surgical Expertise and the Efficient Use of
Training Hours

In recent years, surgical residents have faced limits of 80 hours per week on their
hospital time, and practicing surgeons have seen their hours cut. While the limits
were put in place to provide patients with better care, Dr. Gustavo Stringel
hypothesizes that the resulting reduction in practice and diminished expertise
may actually be harming patients. In an article entitled “How to Make the Most of
the Hours We Have Left,” Dr. Stringel, a past President of the Society of
Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, discussed ways in which residency programs can
improve surgical expertise in their students.

Dr. Gustavo Stringel did not argue for more time in the hospital. Instead, he
outlined several ways in which residency programs could use time more
efficiently in order to aid their students and better serve patients. He suggested
that programs move away from a “years of residency” model to one in which
students could leave the program once they demonstrated proficiency. This
means that some students would finish the programs more quickly than they do
under current policies, while others might spend a longer time in residency. This
change would take into account that different students possess different levels of
surgical ability. Dr. Stringel also suggested that programs use more simulations
and encourage students to engage in visualization and mental practice to
improve their motor skills, much as professional athletes do.

Finally, Dr. Stringel explained that programs need to improve their feedback
methods. Since only “perfect practice makes perfect,” students need accurate,
specific feedback on their surgical work. He feels that these changes could
improve the skill of new surgeons and prevent mistakes in the operating room.

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