Residency

Using social networking sites to improve resident performance

Residency Program Insider, June 20, 2014

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A small group of residents improved its performance on a robotic surgical procedure after receiving anonymous feedback from peers through the social networking site Google+.
 
Forty-one urology and gynecology residents from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Michigan participated in the study, recently published in the online edition of the Annals of Surgery.
 
Participants were divided into two groups. Members of one group videotaped their performances practicing procedures on a robotic surgery simulator and posted the videos to a Google+ group, where peers could anonymously critique them. Members of the second group didn’t videotape or post their practice with the simulator. Residents in the group that received peer feedback through Google+ completed tasks more quickly and scored higher on performance measures during later simulation attempts.
 
Dr. Jim Hu, the senior author of the study, said anonymous online feedback could give surgeons an “egoless” way to improve their technique, according to a UCLA press release.
 
"We have demonstrated that social networking can be a viable forum for coaching, both for residents honing their craft as well as practicing surgeons," Hu said.

 



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