05 Apr

Join the PLSC for Upcoming Town Halls

Posted by: Brian George
in Blog
Views: 5190

The PLSC is excited to announce a series of Town Halls happening during Surgical Education Week 2019 and the following week.  We would love to have you join us at one of the follow three events where we will discuss:

  1. Where the collaborative has been 
  2. Where we are heading, including the upcoming release of automatic case-logging in SIMPL
  3. Opportunities for leadership within our growing organization 

The Town Halls will be: 

  1. In-person during Surgical Education Week at the Fairmont Hotel starting at 5pm local time.
  2. Webinar on Tuesday, April 30th at 4pm Eastern at https://bluejeans.com/467850272
  3. Webinar on Thursday, May 2nd at 1pm Eastern at https://bluejeans.com/467850272

To RSVP, please go to the following link: https://forms.gle/5v846aYL4gdb8QCB6 

01 Aug

In Memory of Reed Williams, PhD

Posted by: Brian George
in Blog
Views: 7340

williams 168x200pxIt is with great sadness that I must report the recent and unexpected passing of Reed Williams, PhD on June 20th, 2018.

Reed, a board member of PLSC, was one of the most respected and prolific educational researchers in North America. His contributions to performance evaluation in medical student and house-staff training have had a great impact on current practice, including everything we have done with SIMPL. He was also a kind, honest, humble, and thoughtful man who served as a friend, colleague, and mentor to many, including many of us. He is survived by his wife Sue and two sons. 

Reed spent many years working with surgical educators, first at Southern Illinois University and later at Indiana University. In both places he had an especially close collaboration with Dr. Gary Dunnington. More recently, he became an active member of the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative where he was central to the consortium's work. His contributions to this and many other organizations and projects stand as a testament to his intellectual generosity, keen insight, and rigorous approach. 

Above all, however, Reed had an unwavering commitment to the truth. This characteristic is well illustrated by the first interaction I had with Reed, long before we became collaborators. He was skeptical that our approach to using a single-item assessment (Zwisch) was sufficient, and matter-of-factly said so. But he wasn’t satisfied to simply disagree. Instead, he went back to re-analyze data he had previously collected in the process of validating a multi-item scale (OPRS) to see if his opinion held up to closer scrutiny. A month later he shared his results: a single item scale was, in fact, sufficient. I will always admire his willingness, even when it contradicted his prior experience, to believe in the scientific process. As a researcher, that is one of the highest compliments that I can pay this extraordinary man.

More generally, Reed wanted to use science to make the world a better place. He achieved his goal, even if there was so much more that he wanted to do. Thank you, Reed, for all that you gave. We will miss you terribly.

Brian George, on behalf of everyone at the PLSC

We will be organizing a memorial for Reed at SEW in April, which we will formally announce as the date approaches. We are also going to fund an award in his name, most likely through the Association for Surgical Education. If you would like to help organize his memorial or contribute to an award, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

02 Feb

Drafting the Surgical Education "Research Roadmap"

Posted by: Brian George
in Blog
Views: 6571

Group Photo small copy

On January 22nd, 2018, the members of the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative co-hosted a symposium with the American Board of Surgery, the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, and the Resident Review Committee for Surgery titled: “Performance, Assessment, and Patient Safety:  Defining the Roadmap for Quality Improvement in Surgical Education.” Participants included representatives the hosting organizations, general surgery residency program directors, faculty, residents, surgery department chairs and psychometricians working in the field of surgical education.

The goal of the symposium was to develop and prioritize surgical education research topics that could be pursued by the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative members.

Symposium attendees spent the first half of the day discussing and ranking possible research ideas, including ideas originally proposed by Stefanidis et al in 2015.  The six top-ranked research questions were developed into complete research proposals by small break-out groups during the second half of the day.  Each draft proposal was then pitched in a “shark tank” format to the entire group.

The top six research questions were, in order:

  1. What faculty development tools can be developed to enhance appropriate resident supervision?
  2. How do surgical residents impact the safety, quality, efficiency, and cost of surgical services within their hospitals?
  3. What is a “competent” surgeon?
  4. Which are the best methods to assess resident performance and competence (intraoperative and clinical, procedural and cognitive)?
  5. What are the most effective methods to improve faculty teaching ability and promote interest in teaching?
  6. What are the performance criteria a resident has to meet to be considered competent and before independent practice is allowed?


As the next step, the Procedural Learning and Safety Collaborative will convene working groups to further explore each of these important questions—and turn our time in Chicago into high impact improvements in the quality of surgical education.

Fryer BrianMalangoniPottsShari Dan HeatherSchenartsMatthewsPano

22 Sep

Annals of Surgery Visual Abstract

Posted by: Brian George
in Blog
Views: 8408

Annals of Surgery Visual Abstract

Published 9/22/2017

George Autonomy VA V2