How well do we understand our patients’ perioperative experience? A qualitative analysis of themes derived from patient-centric resident conferences


Patient-centric resident conferences (PCRCs) provide meaningful time to connect with
and learn from patients. This qualitative study explores themes of patients’ perioperative
experiences from PCRCs through patient and resident perspectives.


General Surgery residents participated in six PCRCs, which include condensed standard
didactics to accommodate a patient panel regarding their perioperative experience.
Panel transcripts and resident survey responses describing what they learned were
coded using grounded theory methodology. Themes were evaluated and compared.


76 identified codes were grouped into major categories: “Medical/Surgical Knowledge,”
“Patient Perspective,” “Patient-Physician Relationship,” and “Communication.” Themes
from resident responses predominantly paralleled patient discussion, with common themes
including “impact of disease and surgery on patient” and “compassion/empathy.” “Medical/surgical
knowledge” was only present in resident responses while themes regarding quality of
life were more frequent in patient transcripts.


PCRCs are a valuable tool in resident education to understand patients’ perioperative
experiences. Themes from patient panels complement, but do not replace, information
covered in didactic lectures.

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