Objective assessment and timely feedback are important tools in the education of surgeons. These tools assess these six essential qualities of a successful surgeon –

  • Medical Knowledge and Judgment,
  • Surgical Knowledge and Judgment,
  • Technical Skill,
  • Integrity,
  • Communication, and
  • Professionalism

The assessment tools that we use to judge the progress of our residents includes:

Conference Participation & Attendance

Since our Tuesday morning conferences are important components of our curriculum, attendance is mandatory for all of our residents. During this time residents are excused from all but the most urgent clinical duties. The cases that are to be presented at Morbidity & Mortality Conference are announced at least three or four days prior to the conference to allow the residents to prepare for the conference. The topics for the Clinical and Basic Science Conference are announced at the beginning of the academic year.

Clinical evaluations by faculty, peers and medical students.

At the completion of each rotation, the faculty, senior residents, and medical students complete an online evaluation of the performance of the residents who rotated on the service. This evaluation tool is based upon the ACGME’s six competencies.

Monthly Textbook Examination

An important part of the curriculum is an assigned reading program in which the residents read approximately 60 pages of a major textbook each month. At the end of the month a 50-question, ABSITE-like examination is given to assess the residents’ mastery of that information. The resident must pass each test in order to proceed onto the next clinical year.


This test is developed by the American Board of Surgery and is administered in January of each year. It provides an important assessment of the residents’ knowledge of a broad scope of surgery and allows comparison between our residents and their peers nationally.

Skills Laboratory Practicals

The surgical skills laboratory will provide an opportunity for residents to hone their surgical skills outside of the operating room. There will be four practical examinations in which the resident will demonstrate to a faculty proctor their ability to perform ultrasound, basic and complex open operative skills, basic and complex laparoscopic skills, and the ability to perform specific operative exposures in cadaveric models.

Standardized Patient and Oral Examinations

Each quarter, the residents will undergo either a standardized patient examination using robotics to examine critical care physiology and resuscitation as well as an oral examination modeled after the certifying examination of the American Board of Surgery. The content of each of these examinations will be announced a month prior to the exam to allow the resident an opportunity to prepare.

Resident assessment of the UAMS General Surgery Residency Program

At the completion of each rotation, the residents complete an anonymous online evaluation of the faculty and the service that they had completed. The evaluations are provided to the faculty at the end of the year in an anonymous fashion. As with the resident evaluations, this evaluation tool is based upon the ACGME’s six competencies.