Self-directed Learning in Otolaryngology Residents’ Preparation for Surgical Cases: A Survey and Literature Review Examining Study Habits and Resource Utilization

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Abstract

Objectives:

To characterize the nature of surgical preparation among otolaryngology residents nationwide, determine the self-rated effectiveness and efficiency of case preparation practices, and identify potential means for educational improvement.

Methods:

A survey examining the study objectives was developed and distributed to otolaryngology residents nationwide. Survey response data were submitted to descriptive analysis and comparative analyses between junior and senior residents. Literature regarding case preparation among otolaryngology residents was reviewed.

Results:

Among 108 resident respondents, the most commonly used resources included textbooks (86.1%), surgical education websites (74.1%), and surgical atlases (66.7%). Time was the primary limitation (cited by 84.3%) and convenience the predominant factor influencing resource selection (92.5%). On a 5-point Likert scale, mean scores regarding effectiveness and efficiency of case preparation were 3.53 ± 0.68 and 3.19 ± 0.88, respectively. Senior residents compared to junior residents were more likely to rate their preparation as effective (3.75 ± 0.54 vs 3.40 ± 0.72, P = .008) and efficient (3.45 ± 0.85 vs 3.03 ± 0.86, P = .02).

Conclusion:

Otolaryngology residents do not consistently rate their case preparation as effective or efficient. While there appears to be progress in self-directed learning throughout residency, room for improvement remains, with potential avenues for such improvement explored here.

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