Reliability and Validity of 3 Methods of Assessing Orthopedic Resident Skill in Shoulder Surgery

Johnathan A. Bernard, Jonathan R. Dattilo, Uma Srikumaran, Bashir A. Zikria, Amit Jain, Dawn M. LaPorte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective Traditional measures for evaluating resident surgical technical skills (e.g., case logs) assess operative volume but not level of surgical proficiency. Our goal was to compare the reliability and validity of 3 tools for measuring surgical skill among orthopedic residents when performing 3 open surgical approaches to the shoulder. Methods A total of 23 residents at different stages of their surgical training were tested for technical skill pertaining to 3 shoulder surgical approaches using the following measures: Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) checklists, the Global Rating Scale (GRS), and a final pass/fail assessment determined by 3 upper extremity surgeons. Adverse events were recorded. The Cronbach α coefficient was used to assess reliability of the OSATS checklists and GRS scores. Interrater reliability was calculated with intraclass correlation coefficients. Correlations among OSATS checklist scores, GRS scores, and pass/fail assessment were calculated with Spearman ρ. Validity of OSATS checklists was determined using analysis of variance with postgraduate year (PGY) as a between-subjects factor. Significance was set at p < 0.05 for all tests. Results Criterion validity was shown between the OSATS checklists and GRS for the 3 open shoulder approaches. Checklist scores showed superior interrater reliability compared with GRS and subjective pass/fail measurements. GRS scores were positively correlated across training years. The incidence of adverse events was significantly higher among PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents compared with more experienced residents. Conclusion OSATS checklists are a valid and reliable assessment of technical skills across 3 surgical shoulder approaches. However, checklist scores do not measure quality of technique. Documenting adverse events is necessary to assess quality of technique and ultimate pass/fail status. Multiple methods of assessing surgical skill should be considered when evaluating orthopedic resident surgical performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1020-1025
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of surgical education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Global Rating Scale
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills
  • Patient Care
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • competency evaluation
  • residency training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Reliability and Validity of 3 Methods of Assessing Orthopedic Resident Skill in Shoulder Surgery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this