Modeling surgical resident performance

Sara Waxberg, Caroline G.L. Cao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The goals of this work were to evaluate the methods used for assessing surgical residents and to model surgical resident performance. Currently, residents are evaluated by the attending surgeons using a one-page paper evaluation form after each rotation in a particular department. These subjective questionnaires require the evaluators to rate residents in competency areas that are thought to define a successful surgeon. An electronic database was created from resident performance records collected over the past 33 years from the Department of Surgery at the Tufts-NEMC. A usability study examined the effectiveness of the design of the evaluation form and the competency measures. Analysis showed nine changes in format between 1972 and 2005, varying in the competencies rated and rating scales used. Regression analysis was used to model the performance of surgical residents. Results showed that judgment (p < 0.0001), initiative (p < 0.0001), and reaction to stress (p = 0.0206) were significant predictors of a successful outcome. This model may be used to predict the success of new residents and possibly target weaknesses in the surgical education curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 50th Annual Meeting, HFES 2006
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event50th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2006 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2006Oct 20 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
ISSN (Print)1071-1813


Other50th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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