The LEGO™ Exercise: An Assessment of Core Competencies in Urology Residency Interviews.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: In competitive residency specialties such as Urology, it has become increasingly challenging to differentiate similarly qualified applicants. Residency interviews are utilized to rank applicants, yet they are often biased and do not explicitly address ACGME core competencies. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized a team-based exercise in the urology residency interview centered on building LEGOs assesses core competences. DESIGN: From 2014-2017, students interviewing for urology residency at two institutions participated in a LEGO™ building activity. Applicants were assigned to "architect"- describing how to construct a structure - or "builder" - constructing the same structure with pieces-using only verbal cues to assemble the structure. Participants were graded using a rubric assessing competencies of interpersonal communication, problem-based learning, professionalism, and manual dexterity (indicator of procedural skill). The total minimum score was 16 and maximum was 80. SETTING: The study took place at two tertiary referral centers: University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, MI, and University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, UT. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 176 applicants participated, comprised of applicants interviewing for urology residency at two institutions during the study timeframe. RESULTS: For architects and builders, there was a maximum score of 80, and minimum of 34 and 32, respectively. Both distributions show a right shift with mean scores of 64.3 and 65.9, and median scores of 69 and 65.5. Successful pairs excelled with consistent nomenclature and clear directionality. Ineffective pairs miscommunicated with false affirmations, inconsistent nomenclature, and lack of patience. CONCLUSIONS: The LEGO™ exercise allowed for standardized assessment of applicants based on ACGME core competencies. The rubric identified poor performers who do not rise to the challenge of a team-based task.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bethel, EC; Marchetti, KA; Hecklinski, TM; Daignault-Newton, S; Kraft, KH; Hamilton, BD; Faerber, GJ; Ambani, SN

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 78 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 2063 - 2069

PubMed ID

  • 34172410

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-7452

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jsurg.2021.05.011


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States