Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: The education and training of tomorrow's surgeons are predicated upon the involvement of a broad spectrum of surgical educators. Identification of the factors that influence their ongoing participation is crucial for its continuity. Methods: A study was performed on 695 surgeons identified as having major involvement in surgical education and training using a questionnaire based on a number of educational themes. Results: Four hundred and thirty-eight surgeons (63%) completed the questionnaire. The majority found teaching rewarding and would recommend it to colleagues, although fewer would advocate being a supervisor or course instructor. The highest motivating factors were sharing knowledge, enjoyment of teaching, necessity to remain up to date and the interaction that teaching provides with colleagues. Barriers included insufficient time because of other work commitments, lack of support from hospital management and intrusion on work-life balance. Surgeons saw themselves as successful in answering trainees' questions, appropriately delegating patient care, providing feedback and creating a positive learning environment. They were least confident in helping trainees to identify their learning needs and develop their learning goals. New courses were considered desirable in assessment, providing feedback and the management of underperforming trainees. Conclusions: Enjoyment of teaching, sharing knowledge and the requirement to keep up to date, motivate surgeons to teach. Lack of time for teaching, and lack of recognition and support act as barriers. Designated time for teaching, being equipped for the educational roles involved, and the provision of appropriate recognition and support are necessary to sustain this essential resource. © 2011 The Authors. ANZ Journal of Surgery © 2011 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Original publication




Journal article


ANZ Journal of Surgery

Publication Date





411 - 417