Caprice C. Greenberg, MD, MPH

Caprice C. Greenberg, MD, MPH

Caprice C. Greenberg, MD, MPH, professor of surgery and director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, has developed a program that teaches surgeons to coach other surgeons. She thinks meetings like DDW®, where surgeons gather for professional development, are fertile ground for such training.

“The program uses peer coaching — where surgeons act as facilitators of self-reflection by other surgeons,” Dr. Greenberg said. “The vision is of a much more practical approach to continuing medical education and continuous professional development — one that is more targeted to an individual surgeon’s practice when compared to our current approach.”

An expert on improving the quality and safety of surgical care, Dr. Greenberg will present the annual Doris and John L. Cameron Guest Oration on Sunday. Her 45-minute presentation is titled The Role of Professional Societies in Continuing Professional Development.

Dr. Greenberg’s coaching program relies on one-on-one professional development driven by the participants, who receive feedback and an individualized action plan to help them put what they learn into practice.

“What I’d really like to see — and I think SSAT President Stan Ashley has a similar vision — is surgical societies taking ownership of mentoring programs,” Dr. Greenberg said. “When we’re at national meetings, we can facilitate one-on-one interactions where you can work with a coach to help you look at a deeper level at your own practice and identify ways you might be able to improve.”

In her lecture, Dr. Greenberg will share some of her experiences with coaching models.

“People are talking a lot about coaching, but there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what coaching means and how it is distinct from our traditional approaches to education,” she said. “Much of the resistance to the concept of surgical coaching comes from that misunderstanding … so I hope to clear up the misconceptions.”

“We’re promoting coaching as a very proactive, constructive way to improve practice,” she continued. “There’s nothing remedial about what we’re trying to do. This is really about providing tools for surgeons who want to improve any aspect of the care they provide to patients.”

Please refer to the DDW Mobile App or the Program section in Sunday’s issue for the time and location of this and other DDW events.