Predicting the technical skills of surgical interns

Richard W. Schwartz, Michael B. Donnelly, Warwick A. Arden, David A. Sloan, Amy V. Blue, W. E. Strodel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Minnesota Paper Form Board Test (MPFBT), primarily a visuospatial assessment, has been used to predict residents' technical skills. This study compared MPFBT scores with faculty performance ratings and scores on an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Nineteen interns participated in the MPFBT, in dry and wet surgical skills laboratories, and in an OSCE. All scores and ratings were compared statistically. The wet laboratory ratings did not correlate significantly with the dry laboratory ratings. Performance scores on both the dry laboratory (r = 0.65, p < 0.05) and the wet laboratory (r = 0.55, p < 0.05) correlated significantly with MPFBT score; however, the mean wet laboratory-dry laboratory rating did not. Five wet laboratory scales and four dry laboratory scales correlated significantly with the MPFBT score. The MPFBT score did not correlate significantly with OSCE scores. Our findings support the value of visuospatial testing as one means of predicting operative technical skills. Overall clinical abilities as assessed by the OSCE do not correlate with performance in structured operative skills stations; thus, each requires specific educational training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting the technical skills of surgical interns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this