Purpose: The purpose of this study was to perform external validation, examine educational effectiveness, and confirm construct validity of a previously developed "intermediate-level, proficiency-based knot-tying and suturing curriculum" in preparing residents to achieve proficiency in more advanced open surgical techniques.
Methods: A total of 47 postgraduate year-1 (PGY-1) surgery residents completed 6 intermediate-level knot-tying and suturing exercises. Baseline trainee performance was compared with intermediate and senior (PGY-3 and PGY-4) residents (n = 12) and expert faculty (n = 4).
Results: PGY-1 overall proficiency increased from 21.1% at baseline to 92.1% during posttest for all 6 exercises combined (p < 0.001). When compared with the PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents, at baseline intermediate and senior residents scored higher on half of the exercises. However, during posttesting PGY-1 residents not only matched, but also surpassed PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents' performance in 3 of 6 exercises. Significant differences on all 6 exercises were also found during pretesting when comparing interns against faculty, demonstrating construct validity. However, upon completion of the curriculum, PGY-1 residents' posttest scores were equivalent, if not significantly better than expert faculty performance.
Conclusion: We obtained similar results as those previously reported, showing external validation. Additionally, we demonstrated that first-year surgical residents could achieve performance levels that match or exceed those of senior residents and experienced surgeons on these exercises with 4 weeks of training.
Keywords: Patient Care; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; Systems-Based Practice; curriculum development and implementation; open knot-tying and suturing skills; proficiency-based skills training; simulation-based surgical training.
Copyright © 2014 Association of Program Directors in Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.