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The Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) skills test: factors associated with first-attempt scores and pass rate

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ARTICLE DOWNLOAD

The Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) skills test: factors associated with first-attempt scores and pass rate

10.00$

Matthew Lineberry, Yoon Soo Park, Sara A. Hennessy & E. Matthew Ritter 

Abstract

Background

The Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery (FES) program became required for American Board of Surgery certification as part of the Flexible Endoscopy Curriculum (FEC) for residents graduating in 2018. This study expands prior psychometric investigation of the FES skills test.

Methods

We analyzed de-identified first-attempt skills test scores and self-reported demographic characteristics of 2023 general surgery residents who were required to pass FES.

Results

The overall pass rate was 83%. “Loop Reduction” was the most difficult sub-task. Subtasks related to one another only modestly (Spearman’s ρ ranging from 0.11 to 0.42; coefficient α = .55). Both upper and lower endoscopic procedural experience had modest positive association with scores (ρ = 0.14 and 0.15) and passing. Examinees who tested on the GI Mentor Express simulator had lower total scores and a lower pass rate than those tested on the GI Mentor II (pass rates = 73% vs. 85%). Removing an Express-specific scoring rule that had been applied eliminated these differences.

Gender, glove size, and height were closely related. Women scored lower than men (408- vs. 489-point averages) and had a lower first-attempt pass rate (71% vs. 92%). Glove size correlated positively with score (ρ = 0.31) and pass rate. Finally, height correlated positively with score (r = 0.27) and pass rate. Statistically controlling for glove size and height did not eliminate gender differences, with men still having 3.2 times greater odds of passing.

Conclusions

FES skills test scores show both consistencies with the assessment’s validity argument and several remarkable findings. Subtasks reflect distinct skills, so passing standards should perhaps be set for each subtask. The Express simulator-specific scoring penalty should be removed. Differences seen by gender are concerning. We argue those differences do not reflect measurement bias, but rather highlight equity concerns in surgical technology, training, and practice.

Only units of this product remain
Year 2020
Language English
Format PDF
DOI 10.1007/s00464-020-07690-6