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

Published:January 21, 2023DOI:


      • Patient-centric resident conferences are a valuable tool in resident education.
      • PCRCs help residents understand patients' perioperative experiences.
      • Patients value communication, quality of life, and the patient-physician relationship.
      • Residents do not emphasize the impact of the system on perioperative care.
      • Themes from PCRCs are complimentary to material covered in resident didactics.



      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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