Improving surgical excellence: first experience of a video-based intervention in outpatients

Nelson Granchi, Jessica Reid, Katarina Foley, Amanda Le Couteur, Suzanne Edwards, Rebecca Feo, Markus Trochsler, Martin Bruening, Guy Maddern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Background: There are limited opportunities for surgeons to engage in active learning programs once they achieve Fellowship, especially for non-technical skills such as communication. This study aims to address this gap by evaluating a peer-based coaching program in non-technical skill using video-recorded patient consultations from a routine outpatient clinic. 

Methods: Standard outpatient consultations between consultant surgeons and patients were video recorded. The surgeon viewed the videos with a peer-coach (senior surgeon) who helped identify areas of strength and areas for improvement. To test the effect of the coaching session, outpatient consultations were recorded roughly 1 month later. Pre and post-coaching videos were assessed using the Maastricht History-Taking and Advice Scoring – Global Rating List (MAAS), a common tool for evaluating non-technical skills in clinicians. 

Results: A total of 12 surgeons consented to participate. Coaching significantly improved MAAS scores (mean difference = −0.61; 95% CI (−0.88, −0.33); P < 0.0001). Surgeons were generally positive about the experience. All found the method of learning suitable, and most thought the process improved their skills. Most thought that coaching would improve patient outcomes and the majority thought they would participate in ongoing coaching as part of their employment. 

Conclusion: This supports the concept of surgical coaching as an effective tool to improve communication skills and the quality of surgical consultation. The next step is to expand beyond a voluntary cohort and link surgical coaching to improved patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2868-2872
Number of pages5
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
Early online date2 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • coaching
  • intervention
  • non-technical skills
  • quality improvement
  • surgery


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