Simulation-based mastery learning significantly reduces gender differences on the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery performance exam

Surg Endosc. 2018 Dec;32(12):5006-5011. doi: 10.1007/s00464-018-6313-y. Epub 2018 Jul 16.

Abstract

Background: Analysis of the Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) performance exam showed higher scores for men than women. Gender differences have been reduced with task-specific practice. We assessed the effect of simulation-based mastery learning (SBML) on FES performance exam differences by gender.

Methods: Forty-seven surgical trainees [29 men (m), 18 women (w)] completed a SBML curriculum and were assessed by FES. Fourteen trained on the GI Mentor 2, 18 on the Endoscopy Training System, and 15 using the Surgical Training for Endoscopic Proficiency curriculum. Performance of male and female trainees was compared.

Results: On the pre-training assessment, there were large differences between genders in FES pass rates (m 77%, w 15%, p < 0.001), total scores (m 69 ± 11, w 50 ± 12; p < 0.001), and in four of five FES sub-task scores (Navigation, m 73 ± 19, w 55 ± 22, p = 0.02; Loop reduction, m 34 ± 29, w 14 ± 22, p = 0.02; Retroflexion, m 81 ± 17, w 47 ± 27, p < 0.001; Targeting, m 89 ± 10, w 66 ± 23, p = 0.002). No differences were discernible post training (Pass rate, m 100%, w 94%, p = 0.4; Total score, m 77 ± 8, w 72 ± 12, p = 0.2; Navigation, m 91 ± 13, w 80 ± 13, p = 0.009; Loop reduction, m 49 ± 26, w 46 ± 36, p = 0.7; Retroflexion, m 82 ± 18, w 81 ± 15, p = 0.9; Targeting, m 92 ± 15, w 86 ± 12, p = 0.12). Time needed to complete curricula was not discernably different by gender (m 3.8 ± 1.7 h, w 5.0 ± 2.6 h, p = 0.17).

Conclusions: Gender-based differences are nearly eliminated through task-specific SBML training. This lends further evidence to the validity argument for the FES performance exam as a measure of basic endoscopic skills.

Keywords: Endoscopy; Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery; Gender differences; Mastery learning; Simulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Status
  • Endoscopy / education*
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Simulation Training / methods*
  • Task Performance and Analysis