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How did you get interested in your research topic? 

Medical and surgical training require a huge amount of effort and a very long time. I am interested in optimizing feedback and coaching in operative and simulation settings to make the training process as effective and efficient as possible. This has led me to pursue a Master’s in Education at UC Berkeley this year and to work on projects in surgical simulation, curriculum development, and assessment tool validation.

How did you select your research mentorship team? 

I have a truly spectacular group of mentors! Among my mentors, Dr. Chern and Dr. Syed lead our surgical skills lab and have invaluable insight on simulation-based education for surgical trainees. Dr. Alseidi is our Vice Chair of Education, and has fantastic ideas about designing meaningful, impactful educational research studies. Dr. O’Sullivan is our Endowed Chair in Surgical Education and has seemingly infinite wisdom about education in the health professions. I was connected with these mentors as an intern because of my interest in surgical education.

How will you incorporate your research into your future career goals? 

I hope to continue teaching and conducting education research throughout my career. Given the ever-changing landscape of surgery, I know there will always be a need to tweak and improve surgical training programs.

Riley and his colleagues: Natalie Rodriguez, Virginia Schuler & Hueylan Chern at the American College of Surgeons Surgical Simulation Summit in Chicago.