Title

Institution-specific utilization of the American College of Surgeons/Association of Program Directors operative skills curriculum: From needs assessment to implementation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Journal

Surgery (United States)

DOI

10.1016/j.surg.2020.07.009

Abstract

© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Background: The American College of Surgeons/Association of Program Directors in Surgery operative skills curriculum standardizes training. However, simulation resources are variable with curriculum implementation institution dependent. Our aim was to use Kern's six steps of curricular development to demonstrate how to tailor the American College of Surgeons/Association of Program Directors in Surgery Phase 2 curriculum to program specific needs. Methods: Problem identification and general needs assessment was performed. Targeted needs assessment of general surgery residents and attendings was conducted to determine perceived importance of operative skills and residents’ confidence with these skills and attendings perceptions of deficiencies in technical skills using the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills criteria. Educational strategies were developed dependent on program resources. The program was piloted between 2018 to 2019 and implemented in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. Assessment of resident technical skills and resident or faculty teaching skills was performed for each session. Resident confidence with procedures was assessed using the Zwisch scale before and after modules. Curricular evaluations were completed by residents after each module. Results: The previous curriculum did not comprehensively cover Phase 2 modules and was not tailored to the needs of residents. Targeted needs assessment revealed differences in prioritization of learning for techniques by seniority (most important operation for faculty: laparoscopic cholecystectomy, postgraduate year 4 and 5: laparoscopic partial colectomy, interns: open inguinal/femoral hernia repair). Faculty identified technical skills on which to focus (ie, interns’ knowledge of a specific procedure, postgraduate year 4 and 5 flow of the operation and forward planning). Educational strategies employed included wet and dry lab simulations and online materials. Residents reported increased procedural confidence after curriculum completion. Conclusion: This comprehensive implementation of the American College of Surgeons/Association of Program Directors in Surgery Phase 2 skills curriculum effectively used resources and expertise of an institution and focused on the knowledge and technical deficiencies of the target learners. Improvement in learner confidence was demonstrated by this approach.

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