Anesthesia and Analgesia

Published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Online ISSN: 0003-2999
In certifying competence of anesthesiologists who have finished residency training, knowledge and judgment are evaluated objectively using written and oral examinations. Clinical motor skills, however, are not routinely assessed by objective techniques. This implicitly assumes that knowledge and judgment correlate with performance of motor skills. This study was designed to evaluate whether performance of a particular motor skill correlates with performance on a knowledge test related to that skill. To do this, we developed a criterion-referenced Spinal Anesthesia Skill Test and a knowledge test using multiple-choice questions related to spinal anesthesia. Both the skill and knowledge tests were administered to 44 residents at various levels of training at five major anesthesia teaching programs. Scores on the skill test were significantly higher than in the knowledge test, suggesting that proficiency in this essential motor skill is achieved earlier in training. There was no correlation between scores on the skill test and knowledge test. There were institution-linked differences in the scores on the skill test, suggesting that teaching of motor skills is not uniform. The advantages of developing criteria of performance of motor skills is discussed.
Top-cited authors
Paul F White
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Daniel Sessler
  • Cleveland Clinic
Frances Chung
  • University Health Network
Zeev N Kain
  • Yale University
Hugo Van Aken
  • Universitätsklinikum Münster