General Surgery Education

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Program Philosophy

The primary teaching philosophy of the department is perhaps best summed up by the Chinese proverb: "Tell me and I'll forget; show me  and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."

Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.

The aspect of involvement is critical whether teaching in the arena of undergraduate medical education in the classroom environment, teaching in the arena of graduate medical education in a clinical environment or teaching in the arena of continuing medical education in the conference environment.

Additionally, we believe that appropriate curriculum development is required for education to be successful. The use of general and targeted needs assessments is critical if we are to avoid time-wasting educational activities. Why teach what someone already knows or why ·skip something someone is presumed to know?  We must teach to the knowledge and skill gap identified by the needs assessment so learners can achieve proficiency or predetermined milestones. This allows for the development of autonomy for the learner. Identifying goals with specific measurable objectives is crucial in determining curricular content and the educational strategies needed to achieve these goals. The goals should never be based on the educational strategies available; the educational strategies should be based on the goals.

The final, but no less important, aspect of our educational philosophy is that appropriate assessment is required to determine the success of the education event. Assessment can be at the most basic level, which is knowledge or what someone knows. increasing in complexity to assessing what one does. In medical education assessing ones’ actions should be our ultimate goal as all of these actions deal with the high stakes consequences of caring for patients.