Assessing surgical skill using bench station models.
ABSTRACT The acquisition of surgical skill is one of the essentials of good surgical practice. The training of plastic surgeons is presently unstructured, with few objective measures of surgical skill. The trainee's time to acquire skills may be inadequate because of the shortened time for training with the Calman system. There is also increasing pressure from the government to introduce testing of surgical competency for all surgeons. The authors introduce a series of tasks that allow assessment of technical skill among plastic surgical trainees.
A range of surgeons with differing surgical skill were tested. They performed three tasks designed to assess their ability to suture skin, take a medium-thickness skin graft, and repair a tendon. The candidates were videotaped during the procedures and scored by four independent observers using the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill scoring system. Each candidate was then given an overall competence score.
Sixty-five candidates were tested with an experience range from consultant to junior senior health officer. Results showed significant differences down the grades, with consultants performing the tasks with greater competency than their juniors (p = 0.004).
The authors have demonstrated a valid and reliable method of objectively measuring the surgical skill of plastic surgical trainees. The authors have shown that consultants perform better than the juniors and that the tasks are easily reproduced. This has implications for future assessment in that these tests may be used as formal assessment programs for testing and teaching trainees throughout their careers.
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ABSTRACT: To develop a written practical examination and scoring system for assessing trainee skills in basic soft-tissue techniques. A brief written practical examination was developed to assess the ability of trainees to sketch preoperative plans and postoperative results for common soft-tissue techniques: simple-excision, M-plasty, geometric broken line closure, Z-plasty, V-to-Y flap, and rhombic flap. A scoring system was developed to assign 0 to 5 points to each of 10 items on the examination for a total score of 0-50. The 15-minute examination was administered as a pretest, posttest, and 3-month posttest assessment as part of a soft-tissue course at our institution. University of Minnesota, Otolaryngology Department. Three raters reviewed all examination answer sheets independently. The pretest scores of examinees correlated strongly with their level of training; the average pretest for junior residents (PGY 1-2) compared with senior residents (PGY 4-5) was 17.3 (of 50) versus 26.0 (p < 0.01). The scoring system showed a high intrarater reliability and high interrater reliability with correlation coefficients of r = 0.99 and r = 0.95, respectively and agreement coefficients of κ = 0.82 and κ = 0.77, respectively. This written practical examination and scoring system may be used to assess the skills of trainees accurately in basic soft tissue techniques and to expose areas of deficiency that can be addressed in future training sessions.Journal of Surgical Education 01/2011; 68(3):178-84. · 1.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the acquisition of suture skills by training on ethylene-vinyl acetate bench model in novice medical students. Sixteen medical students without previous surgery experience (novices) were randomly divided into two groups. During one hour group A trained sutures on ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) bench model with feedback of instructors, while group B (control) received a faculty-directed training based on books and instructional videos. All students underwent a both pre-and post-tests to perform two-and three-dimensional sutures on ox tongue. All recorded performances were evaluated by two blinded evaluators, using the Global Rating Scale. Although both groups have had a better performance (p<0.05) in the post-test when compared with the pre-test, the analysis of post-test showed that group A (EVA) had a better performance (p<0.05) when compared with group B (control). The ethylene vinyl acetate bench model allowed the novice students to acquire suture skills faster when compared to the traditional model of teaching.Acta cirurgica brasileira / Sociedade Brasileira para Desenvolvimento Pesquisa em Cirurgia 03/2012; 27(3):271-8. · 0.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education common program requirements mandate a competency-based assignment of duties. To accomplish this, valid and reliable assessment tools must be developed to evaluate competence. This study evaluated a rating tool to assess competence in basic surgical suturing skills. METHODS: A technical skills exercise consisting of the closure of three incisions, 3 cm long, was devised in 2006. The incisions were closed with simple stitches with two-handed knots, vertical mattress stitches with instrument knots, and a running stitch with one-handed knots. Fifteen min were allotted for completion. A rating instrument with 17 competency markers worth 1 point and a global 5-point Likert scale competency score was used to evaluate the performance. Twelve first-week post graduate year 1 surgical residents completed the exercise in 2006, and 16 final-month post graduate year 1 surgical residents completed it in 2011. All tasks were scored on video review by two independent raters. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, t-score analysis, rank sum analysis, Cohen's kappa coefficient, and Cronbach's alpha. RESULTS: The mean total score (11.8 versus 13.9, P = 0.002) and median global competency rating (1 versus 3, P < 0.001) were lower for the first-week cohort. Cohen's kappa coefficient of inter-rater reliability was 0.77. Cronbach's alpha measure of internal consistency was 0.87. CONCLUSION: This rating form is a valuable tool to evaluate technical skill competency. Construct validity was demonstrated with improvement in total score and global rating. Excellent internal consistency and inter-rater reliability were also demonstrated. This form may be used to assess technical skill competency in an efficient skills exercise.Journal of Surgical Research 06/2012; · 2.02 Impact Factor