Measuring the ability of residents to manage oncologic problems

David A. Sloan, Michael B. Donnelly, Richard W. Schwartz, Patrick C. Mcgrath, Daniel E. Kenady, David P. Wood, William E. Strodel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: An OSCE was used to measure the ability of a cohort of residents to manage oncologic problems. Methods: Nine oncologic clinical problems were presented to 56 surgical residents. Each problem contained a 5- minute data-gathering period (DGP) and a 5-minute data-interpretation period (DIP). A performance score was determined for each resident for each problem. Reliability was estimated by coefficient α; validity, by the construct of experience. Wilks's λ criterion was used to determine whether training level could be identified by OSCE performance. Results: The DGP reliability was 0.80; the DIP, 0.49. Senior residents performed significantly better than junior residents (P = 0.0001), who performed significantly better than interns (P = 0.0009). Of the residents, 62% were competent on the DGP, but only 21% on the DIP. Important deficits in knowledge and clinical skills were apparent at all levels of training. Conclusion: The education and evaluation of residents in oncology need improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997


  • cancer education
  • clinical competence
  • graduate medical education
  • objective structured clinical examination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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