Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Surgery

Morbidity & Mortality

M&M conferences are a critical part of the resident’s learning process and their development as practitioners who prioritize care quality and patient safety. Through these conferences, residents, fellows, and faculty present on and discuss cases of unexpected morbidity or mortality to identify opportunities to improve performance and clinical outcomes.

Following is information for participation in and presentation at M&M conferences for McGaw surgical residents

Ground Rules

  1. All cases involving complications, deaths, adverse or near-miss events must be logged each week in the M&M reporting system. Important near-miss events should also be logged. If there are no complications, deaths, adverse or near-miss events, the person responsible for logging the cases for a service must indicate ”No cases” in the M&M system. If no cases are entered and you fail to log in and select “No Cases”, then you will be selected to discuss cases without notice.
  2. The person responsible for logging required cases is the senior most resident on the service.
  3. Cases for the prior Friday through Thursday evening must be logged by 12NOON on Friday each week.
  4. Events can also be reported anonymously. These events will be forwarded to the M&M moderator for consideration.
  5. You will be notified by Friday afternoon by mass email regarding cases that have been selected for presentation.
  6. You will be notified if additional data are needed for the Comparative Data slide. Anthony Yang, MD can direct you to the correct contact person. Potential data sources include:
    a. Northwestern Online Surgical Quality Improvement (NOSQI) system
    b. American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (ACS NSQIP)
    c. University Health Consortium (UHC)
    d. NMH administrative data
    e. Surgical Care Improvement Program
    f. NMH Cancer Registry
  7. Use the PowerPoint Template (available at the top of this page).
    a. Please do not add slides unless they are for relevant images
    b. You can delete slides as needed (i.e. "Literature Review" or "Comparative Data")
  8. Submit your PowerPoint before the meeting using the email address at the top of this page. In addition, always bring the presentation on a flash drive or similar storage in case there are email problems.
  9. All residents and attendings are required to attend the M&M Conference. Refer to the resident Attendance Policy for service specific conference requirements.
  10. Presentations should be less than 5 minutes.
  11. There should be no questions from the audience until the presentation is completed. Only the moderator may ask questions to clarify the presentation.

Words of Wisdom

  1. Slides and presentations should be reviewed by the attending of record.
  2. Presentations should be practiced by verbally running through the presentation and timing it. Uninterrupted presentations should take 5 minutes or less.
  3. The verbal portion should help in focusing the audience's attention on the most important points and provide clarification of particular details.
  4. The presentation is essentially a creation of a story and a logical argument, so it should flow and make sense.
  5. Although the complication is the central focus of the oral presentation and slides, the presenting residents are expected to be familiar with the entirety of the case. This includes having a thorough understanding of the management options and outcomes for those options (whether surgical or medical) of the underlying disease process(es) and the complication. This will generally require reading in addition to a discussion with the attending. Variations from standard management and the reasons for them should be discussed with the attendings prior to presentation so that decision making for the case is clearly understood by the presenter.

Clavien Error Grade Definitions


Patient Safety Reporting and M&M Page

These resources are for utilizing the M&M Reporting tool and weekly M&M Conferences.

Please bring the presentation on a flash drive.

* only available within the NM/NMFF domain