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Am J Surg. 2003 Apr;185(4):378-85.

Evaluating the effectiveness of a 2-year curriculum in a surgical skills center.

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Department of Surgery and Centre for Research in Education, University of Toronto, FP4-140, 399 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON, M5T 2S8, Canada.



This study was a formative evaluation of a 2-year Surgical Skills Center Curriculum (SSCC) using objective measures of surgical performance and self-reported process-oriented evaluations.


Fifty postgraduate third-year (PGY-3) residents participated in an Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) examination. Nineteen residents underwent the SSCC and 31 residents did not. During the SSCC, self-reported student and faculty evaluations were completed after each session.


For the OSATS examination, scores were not significantly different between treatment and control groups, on either the checklist (66.4 +/- 6.1 versus 64.1 +/- 10.8) or global rating scale scores (66.9 +/- 6.9 versus 68.0 +/- 9.6). Further comparisons between groups on individual OSATS stations revealed no significant differences between groups. The majority of student and faculty evaluation remarks were highly positive.


The OSATS results failed to support our hypothesis that training on a core procedure in a single session during a SSCC would have an appreciable and sustained effect after 2 years. Self-reported process-oriented evaluations support the utility of our SSCC.

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