Use of animal laboratories for objective evaluation of the technical skills of junior surgery residents

Warwick A. Arden, Michael B. Donnelly, David A. Sloan, Richard W. Schwartz, William E. Strudel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To determine the usefulness of animal laboratories in training surgery residents, we evaluated the technical skills of 28 residents divided into two groups. Residents were assessed hi both a dry and a wet laboratory. Specific and general technical skills were graded on a seven-point scale by experienced surgeons hi separate evaluations for the two laboratories. Statistical analyses were used to assess the reliability of ratings, the differences between performances in the laboratories and between performances of various skills, and the correlation between performances in the laboratories. The dry laboratory scores and the reliability of the wet laboratory assessments were higher for both groups of residents. The overall correlation for both laboratory scores of Group I residents was r = 0.74, p = 0.02 (r range, 0.33 to 0.82), and for Group n residents, r = 0.52, p = 0.12 (r range, 0.02 to 0.70). We conclude that both laboratories are valuable tools for evaluating the technical skills of junior surgery residents. The wet laboratory tends to yield a more reliable assessment of skills and may more efficiently discern differences between residents at different levels of training. Specific skills, however, can be reliably assessed hi the dry laboratory alone to achieve a better use of tune and resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-475
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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