A six-year study of surgical teaching and skills evaluation for obstetric/gynecologic residents in porcine and inanimate surgical models

Gretchen M Lentz, Lynn S Mandel, Barbara A Goff
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005, 193 (6): 2056-61

OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to evaluate an ongoing teaching and objective surgical skills testing program for obstetric/gynecologic residents in a laboratory setting, and assess the impact on residents of having 4 years of a surgical laboratory curriculum.

STUDY DESIGN: From 1997 through 2002, we conducted surgical skills training sessions for all obstetric/gynecologic residents, using both inanimate and animal (porcine) models. Once a year we tested each resident on 12 structured surgical bench tasks. At the end of each year, we conducted formal objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSATS) with all residents attempting multiple surgical procedures. We compared residents who had 4 years of laboratory training with those who started residency earlier and had only 1 or 2 years of the new curriculum. We also compared residents' own performance from year to year and cohort performance by resident year.

RESULTS: PGY3 and PGY4s who had 4 years of surgical laboratory training did significantly better on bench laboratory skills than PGY3 and PGY4s with fewer years of training sessions (total scores of 48.8 vs 30.3, P < .001). However, no significant improvement in surgical procedures as measured by global OSATS was found. When comparing residents' own performance between the beginning and the end of 1 year, global OSATS scores improved significantly on laparoscopic salpingotomy (P < .001) and open oophorectomy (P < .001). For the cohort of PGY4s completing 4 years of laboratory training, average global OSATS scores showed statistically significant improvement (PGY1, PGY2 < PGY3 < PGY4, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: Residents who completed the 4-year curriculum showed significantly better technical skills on bench tasks but not on OSATS compared with those with less training. Resident surgical skills evaluated by OSATS significantly improve over time both individually and as a cohort by resident year.

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