Introduction to Open Surgical Skills Curriculum: Randomized Trial of Self-Paced vs Group Video Tutorial Viewing

Lucy X. Chen, Tobi Fuller, Donald D. Mclntire, Kimberly A. Kho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: At our residency program, incoming interns are traditionally taught fundamental open surgical skills like suturing and knot tying in a group setting by viewing 12 instructional videos consecutively followed by individual baseline skill testing. We sought to evaluate if introduction to open surgical skills via self-paced viewing of video tutorials, as opposed to traditional group viewing, results in improved surgical skill acquisition in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) interns as measured by higher proficiency score with decreased workload stress and anxiety. Design, setting, participants: A randomized control trial was conducted in which OBGYN PGY-1 residents in 2015 and 2016 (N = 35) were introduced to basic open surgical skills, such as knot tying and suturing, by viewing 12 video tutorials produced at UTSW ( for a surgical skills curriculum. Residents were randomized to 2 groups: group viewing vs self-paced viewing. Performance scores were calculated based on time and accuracy while workload and anxiety were measured by preand post-testing surveys using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 6 item questionnaires. Results: There was no significant difference in proficiency score between the group vs self-paced viewing in 8 out of 12 tasks using the Wilcoxon signed rank test (p > 0.10). There was no statistically significant differences in workload stress based on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index questionnaire (p = 0.399) or self-reported anxiety based on the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 6 item questionnaire (p = 0.607). Conclusions: Contrary to recent educational data suggesting self-paced learning may improve outcomes, viewing instructional videos in a group setting continues to be a time efficient method to introduce basic open surgical skills to incoming OBGYN interns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Resident training
  • Skills acquisition
  • Skills lab
  • Surgical education
  • Suturing curriculum
  • Suturing models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

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