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Determining the Role of a National Objective Assessment of Surgical Skills in Gynecological Oncology: An e-Delphi Methodology
  1. Ruaidhri M. McVey, MB, BCh BAO, MSc*,
  2. Eric Clarke,
  3. Yakir Segev, MD*,
  4. Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD and
  5. Allan Covens, MD, FRCSC*
  1. *Division of Gynaecologic Oncology, Sunnybrook Hospital and Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;
  2. Department of Medical Informatics, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland; and
  3. Division of General Surgery, St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ruaidhri M. McVey, MB, BCh BAO, MSc, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave, Room T2 051, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada. E-mail: ruaidhri.mcvey{at}


Objective The aim of this study is to determine a national consensus on the role of an objective assessment of technical surgical skills in gynecological oncology (GO).

Methods After approval was obtained from Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada, A panel of 20 GO leaders was assembled, representing all GO fellowship programs, and was asked to participate in an anonymous group and respond to an online 49-item questionnaire using a modified Delphi methodology.

Results Ninety-five percent (n = 19) of those invited to participate did so. Seventeen of the panelists (89.5%) believed there was no sufficiently standardized technical skills assessment for GO fellows, whereas 18 responders (95%) believed that fellows should be objectively assessed on more than 1 occasion during their training. Consensus was predefined as Cronbach α greater than 0.8. The panel agreed on what procedures should be objectively assessed with a Cronbach α of 0.967. An overall Cronbach α of 0.993 was achieved after a single Delphi round.

Conclusions We achieved consensus on the possible components and logistics of a skills assessment process among a group of highly experienced GO trainers in Canada. This study provides the basis for further investigation and debate on the potential value, necessity, and feasibility of an assessment of advanced surgical and nonsurgical skills of GO trainees.

  • Surgical training
  • Psychomotor skills
  • Certification
  • Fellow
  • Gynecological oncology

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  • Funding: No specific funding was required for this project.

  • Contribution to Authorship: R. M. McVey was involved in all aspects of this study. E. Clarke constructed the questionnaire and collated the data. Y. Segev assisted in the data management and editing of the manuscript. T. Grantcharov developed the concept, questionnaire, and manuscript. A. Covens developed the concept and manuscript production.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (