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Authors Nathwani JN, Wise BJ, Garren ME, Mohamadipanah H, Van Beek N, DiMarco SM, Pugh CM
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Journal J. Surg. Res. Volume: 219 Pages: 226-231
Publish Date 2017 Nov
PubMed ID 29078886

Nearly one-third of surgical residents will enter into academic development during their surgical residency by dedicating time to a research fellowship for 1-3 y. Major interest lies in understanding how laboratory residents’ surgical skills are affected by minimal clinical exposure during academic development. A widely held concern is that the time away from clinical exposure results in surgical skills decay. This study examines the impact of the academic development years on residents’ operative performance. We hypothesize that the use of repeated, annual assessments may result in learning even without individual feedback on participants simulated performance.Surgical performance data were collected from laboratory residents (postgraduate years 2-5) during the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016. Residents had 15 min to complete a shortened, simulated laparoscopic ventral hernia repair procedure. Final hernia repair skins from all participants were scored using a previously validated checklist. An analysis of variance test compared the mean performance scores of repeat participants to those of first time participants.Twenty-seven (37% female) laboratory residents provided 2-year assessment data over the 3-year span of the study. Second time performance revealed improvement from a mean score of 14 (standard error = 1.0) in the first year to 17.2 (SD = 0.9) in the second year, (F[1, 52] = 5.6, P = 0.022). Detailed analysis demonstrated improvement in performance for 3 grading criteria that were considered to be rule-based errors. There was no improvement in operative strategy errors.Analysis of longitudinal performance of laboratory residents shows higher scores for repeat participants in the category of rule-based errors. These findings suggest that laboratory residents can learn from rule-based mistakes when provided with annual performance-based assessments. This benefit was not seen with operative strategy errors and has important implications for using assessments not only for performance analysis but also as a learning experience. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System