Outcomes registries: An untapped resource for use in surgical education

Rebecca L. Hoffman, Edmund K. Bartlett, Rachel L. Medbery, Joseph V. Sakran, Jon B. Morris, Rachel R. Kelz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective To examine the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) for use in profiling the aggregated resident operative experience by postgraduate training year and to demonstrate the extent to which a surgical registry could be used to examine resident exposure to adverse events. Background Independent data regarding the operative experience and clinical effectiveness across residency programs remain elusive. In the absence of reliable data, the ability to standardize surgical education and reduce variation in practice remains an unachievable goal. Methods We identified general surgery cases using the ACS NSQIP Participant Use File 2011. Resident participation was defined according to postgraduate year (PGY). Descriptive statistical analyses were performed regarding procedure type and clinical outcomes. Results Of the total general surgery cases, a PGY 1 to 5 resident participated in 87% (45,423), and 28% (n = 14,559) were performed with PGY 5 residents. Interns were involved with 10% (n = 5448) of the cases. The type of procedures performed varied by PGY, but cholecystectomy was the most common. Overall, 11% (4773) of cases were associated with an adverse event or mortality or both, with a mortality rate of 0.8% (374). The most common adverse event was bleeding (5%). Conclusions The ACS NSQIP captures the breadth of the resident experience in operative case mix and exposure to adverse events. Although the program was originally designed to uncover areas for quality improvement, the findings of our study demonstrate the utility of an outcomes registry as a guide for the development of future educational content in the resident curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number981
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • adverse event
  • procedure
  • resident
  • surgical resident
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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