Using the Flipped Classroom Model in Surgical Education: Efficacy and Trainee Perception

R. C. Chick, A. M. Adams*, K. M. Peace, P. M. Kemp Bohan, I. R. Schwantes, G. T. Clifton, D. Vicente, B. Propper, T. Newhook, E. G. Grubbs, B. K. Bednarski, T. J. Vreeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe the feasibility, efficacy, and learner perception of the flipped classroom model for teaching conferences within surgical training programs. DESIGN: For the flipped classroom conferences, video lectures were prepared by a faculty member, and sent to all attendees at least 2 days prior to lecture. The conference time was then spent going over cases and questions, rather than traditional lecture. We conducted a qualitative survey to assess learner's perceptions and pre-lecture quizzes to assess trainee preparedness. SETTING: The comparison of pre-conference quizzes between flipped classroom and traditional models was carried out at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX, a tertiary care facility with a general surgery residency program. The survey was conducted at BAMC and within the Complex General Surgical Oncology fellowship program at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where a flipped classroom model was similarly employed. PARTICIPANTS: Surgical residents BAMC participated in pre-lecture quizzes. BAMC residents and MD Anderson fellows were invited to complete the online survey. RESULTS: Lecture videos did not increase mean preparation time (1.53 vs. 1.46 hours without vs. with video, p = 0.858), but did increase mean quiz scores from 67% to 80% (p = 0.031) with 32/35 learners utilizing videos. Videos increased the proportion of learners who self-reported preparing at all from 42% to 95% (p = 0.28), and preparing for at least one hour for conference from 23% to 49% (p = 0.014). Of survey respondents, 90% said videos were very helpful, 90% would use them weekly if available, and 90% prefer this format to traditional lecture. CONCLUSIONS: Utilization of a flipped classroom method was well received and preferred by surgical trainees, and it increased performance on pre-conference quizzes without increasing preparation time. Although creation of video lectures is work-intensive for lecturers, these results suggest it is more effective for learner preparation. These results could be generalizable to surgical residents nationwide as technology utilization increases in surgical education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1803-1807
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical knowledge
  • distance learning
  • flipped classroom
  • surgery residency


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