Purpose: Medical educators have developed no standard way to assess the operative performance of surgical residents. Most residency programs use end-of-rotation (EOR) evaluations for this purpose. Recently, some programs have implemented workplace-based "microassessment" tools that faculty use to immediately rate observed operative performance. The authors sought to determine (1) the degree to which EOR evaluations correspond to workplace-based microassessments and (2) which factors most influence EOR evaluations and directly observed workplace-based performance ratings and how the influence of those factors differs for each assessment method. Method: In 2017, the authors retrospectively analyzed EOR evaluations and immediate postoperative assessment ratings of surgical trainees from a university-based training program from the 2015-2016 academic year. A Bayesian multivariate mixed model was constructed to predict operative performance ratings for each type of assessment. Results: Ratings of operative performance from EOR evaluations vs workplace-based microassessment ratings had a Pearson correlation of 0.55. Postgraduate year (PGY) of training was the most important predictor of operative performance ratings on EOR evaluations: Model estimates ranged from 0.62 to 1.75 and increased with PGY. For workplace-based assessment, operative autonomy rating was the most important predictor of operative performance (coefficient = 0.74). Conclusions: EOR evaluations are perhaps most useful in assessing the ability of a resident to become a surgeon compared with other trainees in the same PGY of training. Workplace-based microassessments may be better for assessing a trainee's ability to perform specific procedures autonomously, thus perhaps providing more insight into a trainee's true readiness for operative independence.
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