Resident Education: COACH

One of the most unique and effective teaching tools available to Columbia residents, COACH is an online platform conceived, designed and developed by the Columbia Surgery Department that provides residents with information and pre-training for tasks they will subsequently perform with patients. This is an invaluable resource, which is continually being expanded, and is becoming more significantly integrated into the educational curriculum.

COACH includes:

Operative guides

Multimedia surgical atlases including diagrams, text, and video, providing detailed, attending-specific information on operations and other procedures.

Surgical Videos

Narrated surgical videos with animation overlays that explain key steps of procedures, including patient positioning, required instruments and their placement, orientation to anatomy, and discussion of potential errors and highlights of the procedure.

Service guides

These detailed documents describe the appropriate care for patients on each service including specific preferences of various attendings. These guides are frequently edited and updated by residents and provide a means of passing on the service-related knowledge to residents that follow on the rotation and create a highly-efficient means of getting residents "up to speed" on the care of patients on a particular service.


Proctored basic skills modules, with topics such as asepsis, patient positioning, safe handling of surgical instruments, arterial anastomosis, urinary catheterization, etc.

Image Archive

An extensive library of classic, pathognomonic, and unusual X-ray and physical exam findings with brief summaries of the pertinent diagnostic findings.

Document Archive

A library of documents and a links to relevant PubMed articles that detail crucial information and appropriate work-up and management of various surgical diseases.


Online quizzes are becoming integrated into the COACH engine, which enable residents to evaluate their own knowledge retention and faculty to track resident performance.