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64th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

26 - 29 May 2013, Düsseldorf

Professional medical education in percutaneous spine surgery: results of an evidence-based interdisciplinary study

Meeting Abstract

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  • Carsten Ostendorp - Zentrum für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie in Kliniken
  • Gerhardt Hildebrand - Neurochirurgie, Kantonsspital St. Gallen
  • Marc Land - Orthopädie, Kantonsspital St. Gallen

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 64. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC). Düsseldorf, 26.-29.05.2013. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2013. DocDI.08.08

doi: 10.3205/13dgnc234, urn:nbn:de:0183-13dgnc2348

Published: May 21, 2013

© 2013 Ostendorp et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The aim was to develop an efficient, effective and sophisticated training with better outcomes in learning and working. Central questions are: 1. Effectiveness: What is the performance-relevant knowledge that professionals need? 2. Efficiency: How can this knowledge be imparted best? 3. Evaluation: How can progress be evaluated?


First: For the Elicitation of the relevant knowledge of the percutaneous spinal procedure, a knowledge diagnosis was accomplished. Therefore, six one-hour interviews with seven experts have been conducted and evaluated. Using a category system which depicts the activity pattern of the procedure, the knowledge types were arranged systematically. Main focus was on knowledge about targets, conditions, reason, measures and the object, consequences and benefit.

Second: A category system was developed and a computer based observational study was conducted in order to depict the observable course of action and to analyze actions regarding learners' progress. The course of action is the visible "product" of the underlying knowledge structure. It provides information on the existing knowledge of the particular surgeon. Based on the learning task approach the instructional design was developed and implemented.


Experts rely on different knowledge which differs qualitatively and quantitatively. There are significant differences regarding in naming the kinds of knowledge and in the ability to put knowledge into words.
The developed computer based observation system allows detailed analysis of the course of action. It is suitable for learning progress assessment.
A structured training program based on cultural-historical psychological approaches and learning theories leads to better learning and work outcomes while reducing stress.

Conclusions: Theories and methods of work, teaching and cognitive psychology support the systematic and resource-saving improvement of medical education and training. The effectiveness of different training methods and training programs can be evaluated. This marks a key desideratum of excellent medical education and training. Next steps should contain an experimental study analyzing the cause-effect relationships between different teaching and learning processes and learning outcomes.