Education Research Sciences Collaborative

Faculty Lead: Gurjit Sandhu, PhD

About Education Research Sciences Collaborative

The Education Research Sciences Collaborative (ERSC) works to advance academic leadership for surgeons and surgeons-in-training through the promotion of innovative research methodologies, educational assessments, curriculum development, and diverse partnerships. We are an education lab within the Department of Surgery Center for Surgical Training & Research (CSTAR).


We aim to achieve our goals by:

  • Providing outstanding learning opportunities for medical students and residents.
  • Supporting development of best-in-class surgeons who will continue to be lifelong learners, provide the highest quality compassionate care, and serve the needs of their communities and the world.
  • Conducting innovative and collaborative research and integrating this knowledge into the practice of surgery.
  • Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of surgery education.
  • Ensuring the highest ethical and professional standards in all our endeavors.


OpTrust Education Bundle

The Education Research Collaborative team has developed the OpTrust Educational Bundle for professional development among surgeons. This faculty and resident professional development focus on entrustment education, goal orientated personality traits, and the validated OpTrust Measurement System as a means to objectively and accurately assess intraoperative entrustment and Entrustability. The OpTrust Educational Bundle consists of comprehensive rater training, objective assessment, and educational session. It is designed to enhance faculty-resident interactions in the operative room across five domains:

  1. Types of Questions Asked
  2. Operative Plan
  3. Instruction
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Leadership by the Surgical Resident

The OpTrust Educational Bundle successfully promotes behaviors associated with entrustment during intraoperative faculty-resident interactions and has the potential to be adopted across other procedural-based specialties to promote graduated autonomy during supervised training.

Teaching and Learning

We strive to lead and contribute to research in surgical teaching and learning, develop curriculum and professional opportunities, and advance feedback methods.

  • Residents as Educators (RAE) Program: This program provides an interactive curriculum, an introduction to teaching approaches and methods, as well as sessions that include deliberate teaching, perioperative teaching models, and feedback.
  • Professional Development Opportunities: This includes topics such as constructive feedback, strategic questioning, qualitative research methods, curriculum development, and compassion fatigue.
  • ERSC Outreach: We work across the health professions with programs such as MEDPREP, Medical Students in Global Surgery, Department of Learning Health Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Surgery

The Education Research Sciences Collaborative serves and welcomes all segments of the medical/surgical community to engage in forward thinking research, teaching, and assessment. We strive to provide fair and equal opportunity, treatment, and access to surgical research sciences while attempting to eliminate possible barriers that have hindered participating by some groups.


Members of the ERSC are actively involved in:


Assessment and Evaluation

The ERSC encourages assessment, evaluation, and facilitates, the systematic process of documenting and collecting empirical data on learner knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs. Through assessment and evaluation, the teacher/learner interaction can be measured and ultimately improved.


ACGME Core Competencies

  • Milestones Assessment and Evaluation Committee (MAEC): Systematically ensures that assessment instruments provide high quality data for summative reviews of residents.
  • Clinical Competency Committee (CCC): Instruments are revised (for example, to provide more detailed feedback about teaching), while others are implemented anew (such as, informed consent). As assessment and evaluation measures are enhanced, they provide increasingly more detailed information to the Clinical Competency Committee (CCC).


To find out more about our work and how to collaborative with us, please contact Kayla Kaliman at [email protected]