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Am J Surg. 2000 Mar;179(3):190-3.

A comprehensive examination for senior surgical residents.

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Department of Surgery and Centre for Research in Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Two complimentary examinations designed to comprehensively assess competence for surgical practice have been developed. The Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill (OSATS) evaluates a resident's operative skill, and the Patient Assessment and Management Examination (PAME) evaluates clinical management skills.


Twenty-four postgraduate year (PGY)-4 and PGY-5 general surgery residents from four training programs were examined. Each examination had eight stations, with a total of 6 hours of testing time.


Interstation reliability for the OSATS was 0.64, for the PAME was 0.71, and for the total test was 0. 74. Examination scores discriminated between PGY-4 and PGY-5 residents for the OSATS (t = 4.39, P <.01), the PAME (t = 1.86, P <. 05), and the total examination (t = 3.90, P <.01). Year of training accounted for 40%, of the variance of scores.


This comprehensive examination is a reliable and valid method of assessing critical skills in senior surgical residents and may be useful for the formal assessment of readiness for practice.

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