By Dr. Patricia L. Roberts, Chair
Operative Competency Evaluation Committee
The Operative Competency Evaluation Committee of the ASCRS is in the process of moving forward with the second pilot project of the Colorectal Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skill (COSATS).
The COSATS is a performance based technical skills exam specific to the practice of colorectal surgery. The initial pilot held at the University of Toronto, demonstrated that the COSATS has the ability to discriminate between the performance of a graduating colorectal resident and a graduating general surgery resident with good reliability. The overarching goal of the project is to develop a technical skills exam that could be incorporated into the ABCRS licensing exam, thus ensuring technical competence of board certified colorectal surgeons.
The second pilot study took place on September 22 & 23, 2012, at Northwestern University’s Center for Advanced Surgical Education, Chicago. In conjunction with the ABCRS oral exam, forty candidates completed the COSATS technical skills exam. Candidates rotated through eight technical skills stations, and they were evaluated by expert board-certified colorectal surgeons, who observed their performance.
The objectives of this pilot project were to further evaluate the reliability and validity of the exam, as well as to set standards and establish a passing score.
Ongoing study into the COSATS exam has the potential to make the assessment of technical skills at the time of surgical certification a reality. The COSATS has been an exciting project. It has been the first attempt of any surgical society to develop an assessment tool to evaluate advanced technical skill.
In addition to Dr. Roberts, members of the Operative Competency Evaluation Committee are Vice Chair Dr. Ann Lowry, St. Paul, MN, Advisor Dr. Richard Reznick, Kingston, ON, Canada, Council Rep Dr. Steven Wexner, Weston, FL, and Drs. Glenn Ault, Los Angeles, CA, Marcus Burnstein, Toronto, ON, Canada, Peter Cataldo, Burlington, VT, Bradley Davis, Cincinnati, OH, Conor Delaney, Cleveland, OH, Eric Dozois, Rochester, MN, Gary Dunn, Oklahoma City, OK, James Fleshman, St. Louis, MO, Rebecca Hoedema, Grand Rapids, MI, Gerald Isenberg, Philadelphia, PA, Helen M. MacRae, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Najjia Mahmoud, Philadelphia, PA, Peter Marcello, Burlington, MA, Jorge Marcet, Tampa, FL, Sandra de Montbrun, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, David Schoetz, Jr. (ex-officio), Burlington, MA, Scott Steele, Fort Lewis, WA, Scott Strong, Cleveland, OH, Judith Trudel, St. Paul, MN, and Eric Weiss, Weston, FL.