Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dr. Carol-Anne Moulton

How did the PSI Funding Help with the Study?


“How do surgeons feel after a complication?”

“Do surgeons ever resist calling for help for fear of reputation?”
“How does the multitasking of academic surgical practice affect individual making and judgment?”

Dr. Carol-Anne Moulton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, University of Toronto and Staff Surgeon with the Division of General Surgery, University Health Network. She is currently the Medical Director of the Operating Room in Toronto General Hospital and a Scientist in the Wilson Centre. Dr. Moulton’s research program focuses on understanding the complexity of surgical judgment, the development of surgical expertise, and underlying causes of surgeon error.

I am extremely grateful to PSI for providing me with support over the years. The funding received from the PSI foundation has provided me with the ability to form, explore, and further my research interests, as well as the interests of those in my research lab. My first PSI grant, “Slowing down when you should: A new model of expert surgical judgment,” (2007-2010) funded a portion of my PhD work. This grant enabled groundbreaking research into surgical decision making, and resulted in four publications as well as numerous invited national and international presentations.
Moulton CA, Regehr G, Mylopoulos M, MacRae HM.(2007). Slowing down when you should: A new model of expert judgment. Academic Medicine. 82(10): s109-116.

Moulton CA, Regehr G, Lingard L, Merritt C, MacRae H.. (2010). Slowing down when you should: Initiators and influences of the transition from the routine to the effortful. Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. 14(6): 1019-26.

Moulton CA, Regehr G, Lingard L, Merritt C, MacRae H.. (2010). Staying out of trouble in the operating room: Remaining attentive in automaticity. Academic Medicine. 85: 1571-1577.

Moulton CA, Regehr G, Lingard L, Merritt C, MacRae H.. (2010). Operating from the other side of the table: Control dynamics and the surgeon educator. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 210:79-86.

St-Martin L, Patel P, Gallinger J, Moulton CA. (2012). Teaching the slowing down moments of operative judgement. Surgical Clinics of North America. 92(1): 125-35.

As is often the case, the findings of my earlier work resulted in countless new questions and areas of interest for future work. Once again, I am appreciative that PSI provided me with the funding to explore some of these questions. My second grant, “Pressures on surgeons to ‘measure up’ with their effects on surgical judgment” (2011-2013) allowed for a deeper look into surgical culture and its impact on individual practitioners and trainees. This project began to explore ideas around the construction of the surgical identity, and the interplay between the surgeon/surgical trainee as an individual and the larger surgical culture in which they operate—both literally and figuratively. This work continues to be a focus in my research lab and has resulted in many national and international presentations and conference publications.

Jin J, Martimianakis MA, Kitto S, Moulton CA.. (2011). Pressures to ‘measure up’ in surgery: Managing your image and managing your patient. Annals of Surgery. 256: 989.

In short, funding received from PSI has not only allowed me to define and explore my own research interests, it has also helped me to build on a larger area of inquiry into surgical judgment, decision making, and culture. I am grateful for the support.