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By Dent, John A.; Harden, Ronald M.

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Another useful tool is the Imperial College Surgical Assessment Device (ICSAD), which utilizes computer-based assessment techniques to track the number of movements and the total time taken for a trainee to complete a set task (Patil et al 2003). Like the OSATS, The Procedure Based Assessment, developed by the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in the UK, has good reliability and validity and assesses the trainee performing various key operations in their chosen specialty. Interaction between trainer and trainee The quality of consultant supervision is the single most important factor in determining whether a trainee is satisfied with his or her training post.

However, this first year as a doctor is seen by many to be a stressful and difficult year, and people have often expressed the idea that they have been ‘thrown in at the deep end’ with little idea of what to expect in the working environment as a result of their undergraduate training. To this end, the General Medical Council has required undergraduate medical students to undertake a period of ‘shadowing’ with a preregistration house officer as part of their final year. Ideally, this will be in the post in which they will later be working.

Thus knowledge can be tested by asking the student to recall something, and understanding can be tested by asking the student to explain or compare something. 20 SECTION 1: Curriculum development The outcomes relating to skills are measured against Miller’s classification. While the highest level of outcome is ‘mastery’, the highest level that it is practicable to assess is ‘showing how’. Some argue that examinations conducted using simulated patients are equivalent to ‘doing’, but they do not measure how the candidate behaves when not being observed.

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