Developing a standardized test for the assessment of suturing skill in novice microsurgeons
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Suturing performance was assessed for 13 novice microsurgeons throughout a 4-5 day microsurgical training course. Time to complete a suture (from needle insertion to completion of tie-off) was assessed on a standardized suture task, for two sutures at the beginning and end of each training day. For days 2-4, suturing performance with actual tissue was also assessed at both the beginning and end of each day. An average learning curve for suturing performance on the standardized test was developed and demonstrated huge performance improvement. A consistent and significant relationship existed between trainees' performance on the standardized suturing test and suturing of actual tissue. Thus the standardized test appears both to reflect actual suturing performance and to be sensitive to improvements in suturing skill that result from practice.
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