Instructional video and medical student surgical knot-tying proficiency: Randomized controlled trial

Katarzyna Bochenska*, Magdy P. Milad, John O.L. DeLancey, Christina Lewicky-Gaupp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Many senior medical students lack simple surgical and procedural skills such as knot tying. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether viewing a Web-based expert knot-tying training video, in addition to the standard third-year medical student curriculum, will result in more proficient surgical knot tying. Methods: At the start of their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship, 45 students were videotaped tying surgical knots for 2 minutes using a board model. Two blinded female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery physicians evaluated proficiency with a standard checklist (score range 0-16) and anchored scoring scale (range 0-20); higher numbers represent better skill. Students were then randomized to either (1) expert video (n=26) or (2) nonvideo (n=24) groups. The video group was provided unlimited access to an expert knot-tying instructional video. At the completion of the clerkship, students were again videotaped and evaluated. Results: At initial evaluation, preclerkship cumulative scores (range 0-36) on the standard checklist and anchored scale were not significantly different between the nonvideo and video groups (mean 20.3, SD 7.1 vs mean 20.2, SD 9.2, P=.90, respectively). Postclerkship scores improved in both the nonvideo and video groups (mean 28.4, SD 5.4, P<.001 and mean 28.7, SD 6.5, P=.004, respectively). Increased knot board practice was significantly correlated with higher postclerkship scores on the knot-tying task, but only in the video group (r=.47, P<.05). Conclusions: The addition of a Web-based expert instructional video to a standard curriculum, coupled with knot board practice, appears to have a positive impact on medical student knot-tying proficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere9
JournalJMIR Medical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Knot tying
  • Medical student
  • Proficiency
  • Video

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Medicine


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