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What is a dexterity test?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by CCOMER, Aug 9, 2010.


    CCOMER 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    I was looking into some surgical residencies and some require dexterity testing. I am curious on what a dexterity test is? How do they test this? more information the better.
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  3. peterish

    peterish 10+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Not completely sure; but I've heard that they ask you to sew some intricate stuff while being intensely timed.

    CCOMER 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Do you have to know how to suture or they kind of train you quickly and then watch how fast you can learn/adapt to a new suturing technique or something? How long is the test?
  5. TeamZissou

    TeamZissou jaferd 7+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    There was a recent paper published by a surgery program that studied this, so that's my guess. However I don't believe there are not many programs who do this.

    Laryngoscope. 2010 Jun;120(6):1109-13.
    Under the microscope: assessing surgical aptitude of otolaryngology residency applicants.
    Carlson ML, Archibald DJ, Sorom AJ, Moore EJ.
    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

    Surgical training;residency;dexterity;aptitude test;otolaryngology;Level of Evidence: 2B.
    Application to otolaryngology residency is a highly competitive process. Programs identify the best candidates by evaluating academic performance in medical school, board scores, research experience, performance during an interview, and letters of recommendation. Unfortunately, none of these metrics completely assess an applicant's capacity to learn and perform surgical skills. We describe a direct assessment of an applicant's ability for rapid surgical skill acquisition, manual dexterity, and response to stress that can be performed during the interview process.

    Study Design:
    A retrospective study at an academic otolaryngology residency program.

    After orientation, applicants were seated at a microsurgical training station and allotted 20 minutes to suture an incision using 10-0 nylon suture on a latex practice card. Their performance was graded using a 1-to-5 scoring system for the following categories: microscope use, respect for tissue, instrument handling, knot tying and suture control, skills acquisition, and attitude toward the exercise. Applicants were given some instruction and assessed on their ability to incorporate what they had learned into their technique.

    The average total applicant score was 23.2, standard deviation (SD) 3.6 (maximum 30); 13.4% of applicants scored <1 SD below the mean, 66.1% scored within 1 SD of the mean, and 20.5% scored >1 SD above the mean.

    The value of applicant screening tests in predicting surgical competency is controversial. We describe a direct assessment tool that may prove useful in identifying outliers, both high and low, to aid in final applicant ranking.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010

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