Why is the study of surgeon personality in colorectal surgery important?

Posted 17 July 2018 in

The Plato Project aims to expand upon the results of the Edinburgh Delphi, recently published in Colorectal Disease. The Edinburgh Delphi undertaken in 2016 at the ACPGBI’s Annual Meeting suggests that colorectal surgeons may have relevant personality traits which could explain variation in practice between surgeons of similar training and experience.

Why is the study of surgeon personality in colorectal surgery important?

  • To date, there are few studies which explore the impact of individual surgeon personality on decision making in colorectal cancer surgery
  • Colorectal surgeons have to make the decision to: anastomose, defunction or form an end colostomy when performing surgery for resectable cancer
  • Anastomotic practice across the U.K. varies despite surgeons with similar levels of experience operating on similar patients within similar peri-operative settings
  • Heuristics (the study of bias in decision making) may, therefore, account for such differences in practice.
  • If we identify personality traits which affect surgeon decision making, can we, therefore, improve patient outcomes post-operatively?

How will The Plato Project achieve this?

  • We are looking for a global reach, with online questionnaires which can be completed worldwide
  • Participating surgeons will complete a personality test and answer a series of questions on anastomotic scenarios, to be compared to morbidity, mortality and resectional rates per surgeon
  • The Steering Group will include a variety of surgeons from all around the world to reflect the community we are trying to represent. At present we have included in the steering group: colorectal surgeons from the UK, Sweden, Germany, Australia, USA (more to be confirmed), a psychologist and patient and public involvement representatives.
  • All collaborators will be acknowledged in final publication; however, individual results will be anonymised.

Where can you hear more about The Plato Project?

  • Twitter: @plato_project
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Data collection is predicted to commence Spring 2019.