In order for the effectiveness of curriculum within the field of medical education to be properly assessed, methods for assessment of performance have to be refined. Performance of technical clinical skills on inanimate models is increasingly being adopted for assessment purposes in senior medical student education. In the present study, we compared the suitability of three technical skills assessment methods — previously developed in the field of surgical education — for the evaluation of technical skills learned by medical students. Twelve undergraduate medical students learned the skill of simulated wound closure (10 sutures) during a 90-minute course. After initial instructions, each student’s pre-training (pre-test) and post-training (post-test) technical performances were evaluated using a) an expert-based assessment method, b) a computer-based assessment method, and c) timing of performance variables. The results indicated that all three assessment methods were sensitive to the improvements in performance resulting from a 90-minute practice (all measures exceeding p<.05); however, because the patterns of observed improvements were different for each method, we hypothesized that the three methods evaluated different aspects of the learning process. It is proposed, therefore, that all three assessment methods be applied for optimal evaluation of the learning process and technical proficiency.
|Keywords:||Assessment, Suturing, Practice, Curriculum|
Professor, Department of Surgery, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Student, The Wilson Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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