Caitlin T. Yeo

May 2018

  • PGY4
  • Residency Program: Oueen's University
  • Supervisors: Dr. Sulaiman Nanji, Dr. Boris Zevin, Dr. Gabor Fichtinger,

Personal statement:

I was born in Mississauga, but spent 10 years in Singapore from ages 6 to 16. I returned to Canada to finish high school. I completed life sciences undergraduate and medical school at Queen’s. My research interest is in medical education and during residency I have been concurrently working on my Masters in Medical Education through correspondence with the University of Dundee, UK.

I have been involved in medical education on multiple levels including both local and national representation. At the local level, I currently sit on the General Surgery Resident Program Committee (RPC), and was part of the Surgical Foundations RPC during my junior years. As part of these committees I have participated in curriculum design and transition to Competency Based Medical Education (CBME). Part of my involvement has included writing and editing several clerkship and junior resident manuals. I was recently nominated for the PARO Resident Teaching Award. At the national level, I was the Queen’s representative on the Canadian Undergraduate Surgical Education Committee (CUSEC) from 2015 to 2017.My career interest is surgical oncology.

My research focus is medical student and resident education. I have been developing tools and assessment methods to direct CBME. Prior projects include:

– The utility of 3D reconstructions of liver CT/MRI for residents learning how to plan liver resections. Residents were asked to decide on the best surgical plan for 10 patient cases, 5 using traditional 2D imaging and 5 using 3D virtual reconstructions. The primary outcome was the accuracy of their plan compared to expert opinion. Secondary outcome was time to devise surgical plan. The 3D reconstruction increased the planning accuracy and decreased the amount of time required.

– Developing learning curves to assess the number of repetitions and degree of erosion that occurs between practices when learning to perform lumbar punctures. Medical students were trained to perform a lumbar puncture in the simulated setting. I used a validated hand motion analysis software to determine when they had achieved adequate proficiency benchmarks. I looked at the number of practices required to achieve proficiency and we retested them at intervals to assess skill erosion. The results showed that the majority of students require three to four sessions of deliberate practice to achieve a sustainable level of proficiency and that there is considerable variation in learning progression and retention of technical proficiency

– My most current project under way is validating the Surgery Tutor, a motion analysis system capable of objective assessment and feedback of surgical skill in soft tissue tumor resections. We have completed the data collection and are in the midst of writing the manuscript. The initial phase of this study was to provide evidence of reliability and construct validity for Surgery Tutor. We were able to show that  the Surgery Tutor can discriminate between novice, intermediate, and experienced surgeons. The next phase of the study is to train novices up to the proficiency of an intermediate operator either using the traditional approach or using the navigation guidance system, and assess if the adjunct of real-time feedback and navigation helps or hinders learning.

– In the surgical oncology research field, I have been an active partner since the conception of the NaviKnife project at Queen’s, alongside Dr. Jay Engel, Dr. Gabor Fichtinger, and Dr. Gabrielle Gauvin. The NaviKnife is a real-time navigation system for breast conserving surgery. I have participated in project design and workflow, subject recruitment, data collection, benchtop and clinical studies, as well as grant and patent applications. I took on the role of resident lead for the project when Dr. Gauvin transitioned to her fellowship. This research has been presented at various venues and conferences, including Ontario’s parliament at Queen’s Park (CAHO) and the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting (SSO). It has also won a number of awards.

Selected Publications:

Liver study:

Lumbar puncture study :