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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in American Journal of Surgery.

Volume 201, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 835-840.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.01.034. Copyright © Elsevier Inc.


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of simulated patients in conjunction with anatomic and tissue task-training models to assess skills.

METHODS: Faculty reviewed the objectives of the clerkship to identify skills to be acquired. Three cases were developed related to rectal examination, suturing, and inserting intravenous lines and nasogastric tubes. Student scores were based on their ability to gather data from simulated patients and perform procedures on simulation models.

RESULTS: A total of 670 students were assessed between 2006 and 2009. Alpha reliability coefficients were .97 for Communication/Interpersonal Skills, .71 for Procedures, and .58 for Data Gathering. Students receiving low ratings from faculty in the clerkship had significantly (P < .001) lower simulation scores. There were significant (P < .001) relationships between scores and grades in other clerkships.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of simulated patients and simulation models yielded reliable scores for procedural and interpersonal skills, and evidence of validity related to clinical ratings.

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