Medical students' perception of what embodies an effective surgeon educator.


BACKGROUND: Effective surgeon educators likely help medical students develop competency and may inspire pursuit of surgical training. We sought to determine the qualities medical students believe embody effective surgical educators.

METHODS: Mixed-methods study of nationally electronically recruited 3rd-year medical students using virtual semi-structured interviews and anonymous quantitative survey to determine the most critical and most frequently encountered qualities of effective surgical educators. Thematic analysis using grounded theory was undertaken.

RESULTS: Data saturation occurred after 9 interviews. Themes of effective surgical educators included: engagement (acknowledging student, knowing their name, talking to the student), fostering a positive learning environment (non-threatening, non-shaming questioning), inclusion (giving responsibility/appropriate autonomy), and understanding how to teach a novice (teaching the student how to learn, adapt to learner). On quantitative analysis of Likert based survey, encouraging, promoting a positive learning climate, timely constructive feedback, and questioning were ranked as most critical.

CONCLUSION: Students highly value positive learning climate and inclusion. Faculty Development to promote these traits may improve clerkship learning and experience.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American journal of surgery

First Page


Last Page