Education Events

Residents, Faculty and Staff Attend Surgical Education Week 2022

Surgery residents, faculty and staff at Surgical Education Week 2022

Members of the Department of Surgery had a successful showing at Surgical Education Week (SEW) 2022. Alongside several research presentations, residents and staff were honored with awards and grants from surgical education organizations. 

Surgical Education Week took place May 3-7 in in San Antonio, Texas. The week consisted of joint meetings of the Association for Surgical Education, the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, and the Association of Residency Administrators in Surgery. These meetings focused on the multiple opportunities and challenges of surgical education in the changing health care environment. 

The Association for Surgical Education (ASE) 2022 Annual Meeting featured live presentations of plenary and podium presentations, panels, lecturers, concurrent workshops and special sessions. 

Three general surgery residents presented their research at the ASE Podium Session II B – Residency Curricula. Annie Hess, MD, discussed her project titled “Surgeons Teaching Internists? A Needs Assessment For Novel Cross-Disciplinary Consult Education”. Next, Katharine Caldwell, MD, MSCI, presented “ABSITE Preparation: What Do We Know?”. This project won best abstract award from ASE⁠.  

“So thankful for incredible collaborators Paul Wise, MD, and Mary Klingensmith, MD, and especially Karen Dickinson, MD, for making this project happen,” Caldwell stated in response to winning the award. 

Julie Clanahan, MD, then discussed her research, “Leading From Within: Shaping a Resident-Driven Leadership Curriculum for Surgical Trainees Using a Qualitative Methodology Needs Assessment”. 

In addition to presenting at the meeting, Clanahan won a $25,000 grant from the ASE Foundation to study surgical coaching in robotics⁠.  

“I have been hoping to bring surgical coaching methods to WashU’s surgery residency program, so this grant is a huge first step in helping make that happen! The grant will be used to support a paired coaching program for senior level trainees to improve operative feedback and technical skill in robotics cases,” says Clanahan.  

Her funded project,“SuPR: A Novel Video-Based Coaching Tool for Robotic Surgery,” is a collaboration with Director of the Washington University Institute for Surgical Education (WISE) and ASE President-Elect Michael Awad, MD, PhD.  

“I am extremely proud of the amazing work of our surgical trainees,” Awad states. “The Washington University in St. Louis Department of Surgery had a major footprint at this year’s Surgical Education Week conference and is recognized as a powerhouse in surgical education nationally.” 

The Association of Program Directors in Surgery’s (APDS) annual meeting provided a forum for the exchange of information and for discussion on a wide range of subjects related to post-graduate surgical education. 

At the APDS Paper Session, general surgery resident Jorge Zárate, MD, presented his project titled “Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk: An Analysis of Diversity Statements and Support of Special Interest Societies by General Surgery Residency Programs”. Caldwell and Awad were also collaborators on this paper, in addition to resident Britta Han, MD, MSEd, medical student Frances Avila-Soto, BS, and faculty members Francesca Dimou, MD, and Bethany Sacks, MD. 

“What a privilege to represent WashU General Surgery Residency at SEW 2022,” Zárate said after the presentation. “In the virtual recruitment era, programs need to show an earnest commitment to diversity on their websites and back it with tangible action to recruit diverse classes.” 

SEW 2022 concluded with the Association of Residency Administrators in Surgery’s (ARAS) annual meeting. The ARAS is an organization established as an educational resource, a method for encouraging the exchange of ideas, and a support network for persons in the position of managing surgery residency programs. 

At their meeting, Senior Residency Coordinator Christa Donald won the ARAS 2022 Program Administrator Recognition Award⁠. This award is given to the person who best exemplifies dedication and commitment to the support of their residency program and one who continually contributes to the overall management of their program. 

She was nominated for the award by Leanna Bell, MHRM, Manager of Surgical Education in the Department of Surgery, and Paul Wise, MD, the General Surgery Residency Program Director.

“Christa is the epitome of what a program coordinator should be,” says Wise. “We couldn’t be more proud of her in winning this Award, but we obviously knew that she is more than deserving!”

Donald joined the Office of Surgical Education as General Surgery Senior Residency Coordinator in February 2019, transferring from the Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery, where she served as Education Coordinator. Prior to joining the University staff in 2013, Christa spent several years managing accredited CME programming at various organizations. 

Over 20 years ago, the Department of Surgery introduced one of the nation’s first surgical skills labs. Since that time, the department has continued to innovate in surgical education through programs including Flexibility in Surgical Training and Early Specialization Pathways, allowing trainees to tailor their training to their desired surgical specialty. 

Residents, faculty and staff are proud to play a part in the future of surgical education and are looking forward to representing Washington University School of Medicine at future events.