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Surgery. 2011 Jun;149(6):761-5. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2010.11.013. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Quantifying surgeon's contribution to team effectiveness on a mixed team with a junior surgeon.

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Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 4E3, Canada.



A surgical team often consists of an experienced surgeon and surgeons in training. This project quantified the contribution of the experienced surgeon to the teamwork in a team comprised of 1 experienced and 1 novice surgeon (Mixed Team).


An experienced and a novice surgeon in a Mixed Team were required to complete a peg transportation task and an intracorporeal suture task collaboratively. Tasks were evaluated by a summative score (up to 100 points) that was calculated on task speed and accuracy. Performances of 24 Mixed Teams were compared to 24 Novice Teams (each composed of 2 novices) and 8 Expert Teams (each composed of 2 experienced surgeons).


The Mixed Teams performed better (67.6 points) than the Novice Teams (51.3; P < .001) but worse than the Expert Teams (88.3; P < .001). When examining individual performance in the Mixed Teams, we observed that experienced surgeons maintained their superior performance like they did in the Expert Teams (P = .153). Novices in the Mixed Teams, however, showed markedly better performances than they did in the Novice Teams (P = .024).


Instant guidance and instruction from experienced surgeons inspire novices' performance, providing a foundation for surgical teamwork effectiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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