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Int J Clin Pract. 2005 Jan;59(1):107-13.

Attitudes towards skills examinations for basic surgical trainees.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology and Technology, Imperial College School of Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK. sbann@ic.ac.uk


Objective measures of surgical skill and cognition are becoming available. A questionnaire study examining surgeons' beliefs towards a skills-based examination, current standards and possible benefits was devised. Three hundred pairs of standardised anonymous questionnaires were sent to consultants and their basic surgical trainees (BSTs) irrespective of surgical specialty. Responses were requested using a Likert scale (1-5, 3=neutral response). Two-hundred and two replies were received (including 54 pairs). BST experience ranged from 6 to 60 months (mean 24 months). When questioned regarding current training in basic surgical skills, only 34% believed that they were given adequate training at present. Sixty-four per cent of respondents believed the introduction of a skills examination would raise standards and 66% believed it necessary. Eighty-three per cent of respondents believed that they or their BST would practice these skills, if an examination were introduced and 85% wanted or would provide dedicated teaching time for this. However, 68% had no access to a dedicated skills facility, and uptake of these, where available, was variable. When questioned about their ability to perform the six appropriate tasks, there was a poor correlation of scoring between the groups. Consultants and their BSTs do not believe that they are given adequate training in basic skills. The introduction of an examination would lead to practice of these skills and is seen as a positive move.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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