Background: Surgical competence encompasses both technical and nontechnical skills. This study seeks to evaluate the validity evidence for a comprehensive surgical skills examination and to examine the relationship between technical and nontechnical skills.
Methods: Six examination stations assessing both technical and nontechnical skills, conducted yearly for surgical trainees (n = 120) between 2010 and 2014 are included.
Results: The assessment tools demonstrated acceptable internal consistency. Interstation reliability for technical skills was low (alpha = .39). Interstation reliability for the nontechnical skills was lower (alpha range -.05 to .31). Nontechnical skills domains were strongly correlated, ranging from r = .65, P < .001 to .86, P < .001. The associations between nontechnical and technical skills were inconsistent, ranging from poor (r = -.06; P = .54) to moderate (r = .45; P < .001).
Conclusions: Multiple samplings of integrated technical and nontechnical skills are necessary to assess overall surgical competency.
Keywords: Assessment; Collaboration; Communication; Graduate medical education; Professional; Surgical skills.
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