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01-02-2013 | Short Communication | Uitgave 1/2013 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 1/2013

Mersey deanery ophthalmology trainees’ views of the objective assessment of surgical and technical skills (OSATS) workplace-based assessment tool

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 1/2013
Myrto Tsagkataki, Anshoo Choudhary
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Presented in part at the United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (UKISCRS) meeting, Southport, November 2011.


Objective assessment of surgical and technical skills (OSATS) workplace-based assessment tool is now mandatory during ophthalmology speciality training in the United Kingdom. The opinions of those undergoing this assessment have not been formally sought. This study evaluated the views of ophthalmology trainees on OSATS assessment as applied to cataract surgery. A questionnaire was circulated to 34 ophthalmology speciality trainees of the Mersey deanery. A total of 28 responses were received. The most positive aspects of the process identified were feedback, learning and opportunity for reflective practice. The most negative aspects were time constraints, assessor’s availability and case selection. Of the trainees, 93 % mentioned that no previous agreed action was taken into consideration when filling in subsequent forms and their performance was not discussed in their annual summative assessment. This study highlights important aspects of trainees’ perceptions of OSATS. Trainees appreciate the formative aspects of OSATS assessment. Some problems came to light, which can be resolved by specification of standards, training of assessors, and commitment from both trainers and trainees. Changes are needed to allow demonstration of surgical progression with time. The issues identified here will be relevant to other specialities as well. A larger survey would be beneficial.
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