Building an Educational Tool to Assess Resident Performance

Photo: Duke undergraduates Surabhi Beriwal and Vivian Qi

Dr. Shanna Sprinkle
Shanna Sprinkle, MD, General Surgery Resident

This summer, General Surgery Resident Dr. Shanna Sprinkle will lead 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. Hosted by the Information Initiative at Duke (Duke iiD), this year’s Data+ 2017 Summer 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.


Undergraduate students Vivan Qi and Surabhi Beriwal practicing surgical knot tying
Duke undergraduates Vivian Qi and Surabhi Beriwal practice tying surgical knots

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, PhD, 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.