BACKGROUND: Surgical residents need structured and objective feedback to develop their skills and become capable of performing surgical procedures autonomously. A shortage of experienced surgical staff has prompted residents to seek feedback from self-assessment and peer assessments.

OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether surgical residents can reliably rate their own and their peers' basic surgical skills using the Global Rating Scale (GRS) from the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills.

METHODS: The study was a prospective and descriptive study conducted using gap analysis at the Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation (Copenhagen, Denmark) from 2016 to 2017. Surgical residents were recruited during a course in basic open surgical skills. Among 102 course participants, 53 met the inclusion criteria and 22 participated in the study.

RESULTS: We recruited surgical residents based in the Capital Region and Zealand Region of Demark, and 42% of eligible residents participated in the study. Surgical residents underestimated their own surgical performance (median, 17 [range, 15-18] vs. 20 [range, 19.75-22]; P < 0.001). They also rated their peers lower than an experienced rater did (median 10 [range, 8.75-14] vs. 15 and median 20.5 [range, 19-22] vs. 23; both P < 0.001). Gap analysis revealed residents had unrecognized strengths (ie, self-underappraisal) in most GRS domains.

CONCLUSIONS: Ratings are unreliable when surgical residents assess their own and their peers' performances using GRS. A gap analysis revealed unrecognized strengths in time and motion, instrument handling, knowledge of instruments and sutures, and knowledge of specific procedure as well as unrecognized weaknesses in flow of operation and forward planning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSimulation in healthcare : journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2022


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