Use of decision-based simulations to assess resident readiness for operative independence.
BACKGROUND: Recent literature has called into question resident readiness for operative independence at the end of general surgery training. METHODS: We used a simulation-based exit examination to assess resident readiness. Six chief residents performed 3 simulated procedures: bowel anastomosis, laparoscopic ventral hernia (LVH) repair, and pancreaticojejunostomy. Faculty assessed resident performance using task-specific checklists, Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS), and final product analysis. RESULTS: Residents' individual task-specific checklist scores ranged from 25% to 100% across all 3 procedures. Mean OSATS scores ranged from 4.06 to 4.23/5.0. Residents scored significantly higher on "instrument knowledge" (mean = 4.78, standard deviation [SD] = 23) than "time and motion" (mean = 3.94, SD = .48, P = .025) and "ability to adapt to individual pathologic circumstances" (mean = 4.06, SD =.12, P = .002). Final product analysis revealed a range of errors, including incorrect technique and poor intraoperative planning. CONCLUSIONS: Despite relatively high OSATS ratings, residents had a wide range of errors and procedure outcomes. Exit assessments using multiple evaluation metrics may improve awareness of residents' learning needs.
D'Angelo, A-LD; Cohen, ER; Kwan, C; Laufer, S; Greenberg, C; Greenberg, J; Wiegmann, D; Pugh, CM
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