Not a Slippery Slope: Duke SLED Will Help Assess Surgical Residents’ Performance

Data+ SLED team

This summer, General Surgery Resident Dr. Shanna Sprinkle is leading a team of Duke undergraduates in building a new educational database for Duke Surgery’s residency programs. The database will enable program directors to evaluate key performance metrics for residents and will serve as a valuable tool for surgical education research.

“In order to improve resident education and perform more rigorous surgical education research, we need better data warehousing, improved data visualization, and more advanced application of education analytics,” says Dr. Sprinkle.

Dr. Sprinkle has partnered with Data+, a 10-week summer research program for undergraduates interested in using data analysis and visualization to overcome interdisciplinary challenges. Sponsored by Bass Connections, the Information Initiative at Duke (iiD), the Social Science Research Institute, the departments of Mathematics and Statistical Science and MEDx, this year’s Data+ program includes 25 interdisciplinary data projects.

Students on Dr. Sprinkle’s project, “Building the Duke SLED (Surgery Longitudinal Education Database),” will aggregate resident performance data, including operative case logs, exam scores and research publications, and design a user-friendly data dashboard with visualizations and statistical summaries. In addition to enhancing educational research, the project aims to provide program directors with a useful tool to predict resident performance and intervene when individual- and program-level issues arise.

The project brings together Surabhi Beriwal, a rising senior and Math major, Vivian Qi, a rising junior and Biomedical Engineering major and project manager Katherine King, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Family Health.

Surabhi and Vivian recently visited the Duke Surgical Education and Activities Laboratory, observed cases in the operating room and participated in simulated surgical skills training to better understand the surgical education metrics they will analyze.

The Department of Surgery partially sponsored the project as part of ongoing initiatives by the Duke Surgery Education Research Group.

Originally posted on the Duke Surgery website. Learn about all of the Data+ 2017 project teams’ results at the Data+ poster session on Friday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m. on the first floor of Gross Hall.

Image (clockwise from top left): Duke undergraduates Vivian Qi and Surabhi Beriwal practice tying surgical knots; Shanna Sprinkle, MD, General Surgery Resident; Beriwal and Qi