A Needs Assessment of Video-based Education Resources Among General Surgery Residents

Published:February 27, 2021DOI:


      • Video-based education (VBE) is increasingly utilized in medical education.
      • General surgery residents preferentially use VBE to learn the steps of an operation.
      • Residents prefer an open-access, peer-reviewed resource.
      • Publication of VBE modules should take residents' self-perceived needs into account.



      Video-based education (VBE) is an effective tool for knowledge and skill acquisition for medical students, but its utility is less clear for resident physicians. We sought to determine how to incorporate VBE into a general surgery resident operative curriculum.


      We conducted a single-institution, survey-based needs assessment of general surgery residents to determine desired content and format of an operative VBE module.


      The response rate was 84% (53/63), with 66% senior (postgraduate year ≥3) resident respondents. VBE was the most commonly cited resource that residents used to prepare for an operation (93%) compared with surgical textbooks (89%) and text-based website content (57%). Junior residents were more likely to utilize text-based website content than senior residents (P < 0.01).
      The three most important operative video components were accuracy, length, and cost. Senior residents significantly preferred videos that were peer-reviewed (P < 0.05) and featured attending surgeons whom they knew (P = 0.03). A majority of residents (59%) believed 5-10 min is the ideal length of an operative video. Across all postgraduate year levels, residents indicated that detailed instruction of each operative step was the most important content of a VBE module. Senior residents believed that the overall indications and details of each step of the operation were the most important contents of VBE for a junior resident.


      At this institution, general surgery residents preferentially use VBE resources for operative preparation. A centralized, standardized operative resource would likely improve resident studying efficiency, but would require personalized learning options to work for both junior and senior surgery residents.


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