Ask any surgeon to name the top three surgeons in the nation, the old joke goes, and they'll have trouble coming up with the other two names. But when the American College of Surgeons meets in Chicago this week, two-person resident and medical student teams will be able to provide definitive proof of who is most knowledgeable.
Washington University in St. Louis will be defending its title against 23 other academic medical institutions Oct. 7, in a three-hour Surgical Jeopardy tournament.
Dr. Patricia Turner, director of the ACS member services division, said residents' grasp of surgical procedures, history and “esoteric” knowledge will be tested in the format of the “Jeopardy!” television quiz show, in which contestants give their answers in the form of a question.
Washington University's Dr. Dominic Sanford, for example, commented last year that he was most proud of replying to an “answer” on the explanation for the characteristics of tension within a fluid-filled vessel with “What is the law of Laplace?”
Turner noted that this year participants may be quizzed about the primary fuel sources of lymphocytes and macrophages (What is glutamine?) or the surgical method for combating peritoneal mesothelioma. (What is the Sugarbaker technique?)
She noted that the Surgical Jeopardy tournaments started 10 years ago as a way to learn outside of the lecture hall, and to help local ACS chapters recruit residents.
“They come for the Jeopardy, but then become engaged in the life of the chapter,” Turner said.