“The number of surgical education resources that are available seems to be increasing almost daily and, while we residents do have it easier now in the era of duty-hour restrictions, most would agree that residency is still very time-demanding,” said Jad Jabbour, MD, MPH, a fourth-year resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. “At the same time, we have evidence from other surgical fields that there’s often a disconnect between what staff surgeons or resident surgeons think is important to study before a case.”
The eight-question survey was distributed to every U.S. otolaryngology residency program and was completed by 108 residents. Junior residents rated their effectiveness in preparing for cases at 3.4 and their efficiency at 3.03, while senior residents, in their fourth and fifth years, rated those categories a 3.75 and 3.45, respectively. The differences between the resident groupings was significant for both questions (p=.008 for effectiveness and p=.02 for efficiency). Textbooks, surgical atlases, and surgical education websites were the most commonly cited resources used, with senior residents significantly more likely than junior residents to use journal articles (p=.01) and personal notes (p=.02).
For both groups, convenience was the most commonly cited reason for choosing a given resource, leading to the popularity of surgical websites, Dr. Jabbour noted, and lack of time the most commonly cited limitation in preparing for cases.