Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Resident Training for Successful Professional Interactions.pdf (129.67 kB)

Resident training for successful professional interactions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-18, 14:07 authored by Dara O'KeeffeDara O'Keeffe, Simone BrennanSimone Brennan, Eva DohertyEva Doherty

Background: Conflict between healthcare professionals is a common feature of modern healthcare environments, contributing to more stressful working conditions and burnout in frontline staff. In the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland we undertook to design and deliver a course called ‘Professional Interactions’ which would equip junior residents in surgery and other acute care specialties with the skills to better manage conflict and bullying.

Methods: The design of this course was based on a Transformative Learning Theory conceptual framework. Key teaching modalities included rational discourse, role-playing, simulations, case studies, reflection exercises and experience with critical incidents and feedback. This experiential learning session was followed with an online short course to reinforce the learning objectives.

Results: We in the National Surgical Training Programme have been delivering structured mandatory education to our residents on this topic for over a decade. Each iteration of this programme has been modified based on resident and faculty feedback as well as emerging evidence in the field of communication skills. Recent course evaluation data included feedback from 203 course participants, which represented a 66% response rate. Ninety-two percent of those respondents rated the course as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ and that they would use the skills learned ‘Daily or ‘Weekly’. 85 percent reported a perceived improvement in conflict management skills.

Conclusions: Conflicts and difficult interactions between colleagues in the workplace are a frequent feature of healthcare practice. Teaching residents skills to manage these interactions more successfully may help towards developing a culture of mutual respect in hospital-based practice.



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Published Citation

O'Keeffe D, Brennan S, Doherty E. Resident training for successful professional interactions. Journal of Surgical Education. 2022;79(1):107-11

Publication Date

22 September 2021

PubMed ID



  • Surgical Affairs


Elsevier B.V.,


  • Published Version (Version of Record)