Background: Surgical training requires development of both technical and cognitive skills. The study analyzed feedback by faculty and residents' self-assessments during a laparoscopic training course to identify structure of feedback in this context and compared the focus of trainees to faculty. Methods: This study collected assessments by surgical residents and faculty during an intensive laparoscopic training course at a single institution. The residents' operative performance was assessed using validated assessment tools including free text feedback. Assessments were completed immediately following procedures. Feedback was analyzed using qualitative method. Results: Eighty (80) residents participated. Three themes were identified: Assessment, instruction and occasion. Faculty provided significantly more feedback than trainees. Moreover, the content of feedback was different. Residents focused on technical performance, while faculty commented on technical and cognitive skills, efficiency and level of independence. Errors were mainly addressed by faculty. Conclusion: This study demonstrated differences in cognitive focus of trainees and faculty. Text feedback is informative in understanding perceived challenges. Faculty provided explicit assessment and instruction for improvement. The effectiveness of self-assessment and feedback should be further studied.
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