Background: Surgical training includes the development of technical and nontechnical skills. While technical skills are more easily quantified, nontechnical skills such as situation awareness (SA) are more difficult to measure and quantify. This study investigated the relationships between different SA elements and expertise. Methods: Twenty attending and resident surgeons rated their anticipation of an impending adverse event while watching 20 videos of laparoscopic cholecystectomies with and without adverse events. After watching each video, they assessed surgeon skills and self-assessed their anticipation ratings. All participants answered a general confidence questionnaire before and after the study. Results: Videos with adverse events led to significantly higher anticipation of adverse events (P < 0.001), lower surgeon skill rating (P < 0.001), and higher self-assessment in their anticipation ratings (P < 0.001) across both participant groups. General confidence was significantly lower for residents than that for attending surgeons (P < 0.001). Compared with the residents, attendings exhibited stronger and more stable correlations between measurements of SA. When viewing videos with adverse events, attendings showed significantly higher correlation between anticipation of an impending adverse event and skill assessment of the surgeon (P = 0.005). Conclusions: This study investigated how different elements of SA and their relationships were influenced by experience. The results indicated that attendings had stronger and more stable correlations between SA elements than residents, demonstrating how measurement correlations could be meaningful and sensitive indicators of expertise and autonomy readiness.
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