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90th Annual Meeting Abstracts

Manual Dexterity Scores do not Predict Acceptance into Surgical Residency Programs
*Lucian Panait, M.D., *Robert A Brenes, M.D., *Shohan Shetty, M.D., *Craig Moskowitz, *Juan A Sanchez, M.D., Michael S Ajemian, M.D.
Saint Mary's Hospital, Waterbury, CT

Objective: To correlate manual dexterity skills of applicants to a general surgery residency program with National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) results.
Design: Cohort study
Setting: Community hospital-based general surgery program
Participants: Twenty-four applicants accepted for interview to a general surgery residency program
Interventions: All participants underwent manual skill testing on interview day. This involved performance of Peg Transfer and Pattern Cutting drills on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) trainer box, and video game testing on two Nintendo Wii console games, “Shoot for the stars” and “Shooting gallery”. FLS scores were calculated in the standard fashion and the scores on the video games were recorded.
Main Outcome Measures: A survey questionnaire was conducted after 2009 NRMP Match Day and results were correlated with skill dexterity scores collected during interviews. Skill performance of the applicants who matched into a surgery residency program (matched group) was compared with the one who did not match (non-matched group). A Student’s t-test was used for statistical analysis.
Results: All participants completed the skill testing. There was no statistical difference in FLS scores between the matched and non-matched groups: Peg Transfer (60±30 vs. 55±26, p>0.05) and Pattern Cutting (19±26 vs. 7±10, p>0.05). Similarly video game performance did not differentiate between the two groups: 229±59 vs. 226±81 for “Shoot for the stars” and 81±5 vs. 77±5 for “Shooting gallery”, p>0.05.
Conclusions: Manual skill proficiency is currently required for American Board of Surgery certification. Our study suggests that manual dexterity is not a factor in the selection of surgical residents. We propose that evidence for technical proficiency should be imbedded into the selection process of candidates for general surgery residency programs.


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