BACKGROUND: Although the ACGME has called for outcomes-based evaluation of residency programs, few metrics or benchmarks exist connecting educational processes with resident educational outcomes. To address this deficiency, a national Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) for General Surgery training is proposed. METHODS: We describe the initial efforts to create this platform. In addition, a national survey was administered to 330 Program Directors to assess their interest in and concerns about a continuous educational quality improvement project. RESULTS: We demonstrate that through a collaborative process and the support of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS), we were able to develop the groundwork for a national surgical educational improvement project, now called EQIP. The survey response rate was 45.8% (152 of 332 programs) representing a mix of university (55.3%), university-affiliated (18.4%), independent (24.3%), and military (2.0%) programs. Most respondents (66.2%) had not previously heard of EQIP. Most respondents (69.7%) believe that educational outcomes can be measured. The majority of respondents indicated they believed EQIP could be successful (57%). Only 2.3% thought EQIP would not be successful. Almost all programs (98.7%) expressed a willingness to participate, although 19.1% did not believe that they had adequate resources to participate. CONCLUSION: The APDS EQIP platform holds promise as a useful and achievable method to obtain educational outcomes data. These data can be used as a basis for continuous surgical educational quality improvement. General Surgery Program Directors have expressed enthusiasm for EQIP and are willing to participate in the program examining outcomes of General Surgery training programs, with an ultimate goal of improving overall residency training.
- Quality Improvement
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