Preparing for the American Board of Surgery Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum: Development of multi-institutional proficiency-based training standards and pilot testing of a simulation-based mastery learning curriculum for the Endoscopy Training System

Am J Surg. 2018 Jul;216(1):167-173. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2017.09.010. Epub 2017 Sep 20.


Background: The Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) exam is required for American Board of Surgery certification. The purpose of this study was to develop performance standards for a simulation-based mastery learning (SBML) curriculum for the FES performance exam using the Endoscopy Training System (ETS).

Methods: Experienced endoscopists from multiple institutions and specialties performed each ETS task (scope manipulation (SM), tool targeting (TT), retroflexion (RF), loop management (LM), and mucosal inspection (MI)) with scores used to develop performance standards for a SBML training curriculum. Trainees completed the curriculum to determine feasibility, and effect on FES performance.

Results: Task specific training standards were determined (SM-121sec, TT-243sec, RF-159sec, LM-261sec, MI-180-480sec, 7 polyps). Trainees required 29.5 ± 3.7 training trials over 2.75 ± 0.5 training sessions to complete the SBML curriculum. Despite high baseline FES performance, scores improved (pre 73.4 ± 7, post 78.1 ± 5.2; effect size = 0.76, p > 0.1), but this was not statistically discernable.

Conclusions: This SBML curriculum was feasible and improved FES scores in a group of high performers. This curriculum should be applied to novice endoscopists to determine effectiveness for FES exam preparation.

Keywords: Endoscopic surgery; Endoscopy; Mastery learning; Simulation; Standard setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum*
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System / education*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Learning*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Simulation Training*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • United States