Jonasson lecturer encourages surgeons to leverage technology disruptions of pandemic for professional growth

Caprice Greenberg, MD, MPH, FACS
Caprice Greenberg, MD, MPH, FACS

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique opportunities for technology disruption and career growth in health care, as Caprice Greenberg, MD, MPH, FACS, will explain at 1:00 pm CDT Tuesday, October 6, in the Olga M. Jonasson Lecture: Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste: Continuous Professional Development and COVID-19. The lecture will be available for on-demand viewing through the virtual Clinical Congress meeting platform through December 31.

“In medicine, in general, we tend to be pretty conservative and do things iteratively and change in slow ways,” Dr. Greenberg said. “Eventually we get where we need to be, and I worry sometimes that conservative approach from our clinical practice carries over into our approach to other things like learning. So I it can take us longer to adopt new approaches and technologies than it does in other areas.”

She will outline how surgeons might leverage opportunities to think differently about their approach to continuous professional development (CPD), as well as how to harness the potential of existing tools such as video-based capture and sharing, assessment, and coaching.

“We, as a discipline, need to think creatively about how we use this moment of COVID-19 to think about and find innovative ways to interact online,” she said, highlighting the need to create opportunities for one-on-one interaction in the virtual meeting space. “We know that individualized learner-driven, goal-directed activities are more effective at changing practice and improving performance than current approaches based on didactics. If we just move our current approach to professional meetings online, we severely limit that ability to interact. All the pieces exist to develop novel ways that we can interact on more individual levels to look at our performance and improve.”

When this concept was first brought into surgery in 2005 through a continuous professional development paper from Ajit K. Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Director, ACS Division of Education, and the American Board of Surgery introducing the Maintenance of Certification, the tools weren’t available for adequate implementation, Dr. Greenberg said. “Now we have all the tools and we have this moment in time where we have to do things differently,” she said. “So it’s a perfect time to think about how we start to really change.”

Dr. Greenberg currently serves as a tenured professor of surgery and the Morgridge Distinguished Chair in Health Services Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a surgical oncologist with a clinical practice in breast cancer and a health services researcher focused on improving patient safety and quality of care. Other past leadership roles included vice-chair of research in the department of surgery and director of the Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research (WiSOR) Program.

Dr. Greenberg’s research is dedicated to improving the quality and safety of surgical care. Her multi-disciplinary program investigates practice patterns in cancer care, and performance measurement and improvement in surgery. She has been funded by a variety of agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Health Research and Quality, and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Dr. Greenberg served on the steering committee for Cancer Care Delivery Research at the National Cancer Institute and chair of the Scholarships Committee for the American College of Surgeons. She served as recorder and was president of the Association for Academic Surgery (2016–2017). She is a co-founder and past-president of the Surgical Outcomes Club, co-founder and director of the Surgical Collaborative of Wisconsin, and co-founder and president of Academy for Surgical Coaching.

“I started this nonprofit with several colleagues with the goal of promoting the concept of video-based coaching as an approach to continuous professional development,” she said. “We’ve been thinking about how to use video in a more productive way for a really long time, and now we’re being forced to think about it on a much more accelerated timeline.”

Olga M. Jonasson, MD, FACS, was a leader in academic surgery and the first woman Chair of Surgery in U.S. history. Following her death in 2006, the Women in Surgery Committee, and friends and colleagues of Dr. Jonasson established this lecture as a testimony to leadership and education in surgery, and as a reflection of the capacity of women to reach academic pinnacles. It is sponsored by the Women in Surgery Committee.