Variables influencing medical student learning in the operating room

Cathy J. Schwind, Margaret L. Boehler, David A. Rogers, Reed G. Williams, Gary Dunnington, Roland Folse, Stephen J. Markwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Background: The operating room (OR) is an important venue where surgeons do much of medical student teaching and yet there has been little work evaluating variables that influence learning in this unique environment. We designed this study to identify variables that affected medical student learning in the OR. Methods: We developed a questionnaire based on surgery faculty observations of learning in the OR. The medical students completed the questionnaire on 114 learning episodes in the OR. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to establish the strength of association between various variables and the student's overall perception of learning. Results: The students evaluated 27 variables that might impact their learning in the OR. Strong correlations were identified between the attending physician's attitude, interactions and teaching ability in the OR and the environment being conducive to learning. Conclusions: Surgical faculty behavior is a powerful determinant of student perceptions of what provides for a favorable learning environment in the OR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-200
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Clinical learning
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Schwind, C. J., Boehler, M. L., Rogers, D. A., Williams, R. G., Dunnington, G., Folse, R., & Markwell, S. J. (2004). Variables influencing medical student learning in the operating room. American Journal of Surgery, 187(2), 198-200.