The Attending Meritocracy: Implementation of a Novel Team-Based Approach to Provide Effective Resident Feedback

Srilakshmi Atthota, Alexa Griffiths, Aaron Kangas-Dick, Jonathan Jesneck, Ruchi Thanawala, Richard Savel, Rebecca Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Providing timely quality feedback is an essential responsibility of teaching faculty and is critical for resident assessment and development throughout training. Numerous evaluation platforms have been created to provide immediate and big picture end-of-rotation feedback. Faculty suffer burnout from electronic documentation demands and workload and as a result, evaluation activity is relegated to a lower priority leading to poor compliance. We implemented a novel team-based Attending Meritocracy (AM)1 program that encompasses monetary, automated reminder, and punitive components, while adding a competition element to further engage faculty. The aim of this study is to determine effectiveness of AM in increasing compliance with resident feedback. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Surgical faculty (n = 36) were divided into 5 teams according to service and subspecialty. Points could be earned by completing surgical (Firefly, MiniCEX) or rotation (New Innovations) evaluations, leaving comments, and other educational tasks. A prize for the highest scoring team was identified as a dinner financed by the non-winning teams. Data from evaluation platforms was extracted. Continuous variables were compared using Mann-Whitney-U test, and categorical variables using chi-squared test. RESULTS: When comparing July 2019 to February 2020 (control period) with July 2020 to February 2021(initial implementation period), we found a 237% increase in submitted NI evaluations (n = 111-374) and a 42.5% decrease in median time to completion from 60.4 (33.2-106.9) days to 34.7 (24.0-64.5) days, (p = 0.001).2 We observed an increase in operative evaluations completed (Mini CEX n = 4-97, Firefly n = 150-1284). CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a team-based attending meritocracy program is an effective budget neutral method to increase completion of resident evaluations. Further investigation is needed to assess improvement in quality of feedback as well as to explore it's impact on progression of resident autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e78-e85
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • Competency based learning
  • Evaluations
  • Feedback
  • Formative feedback
  • Resident education
  • Surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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