Practice Guidelines for Operative Performance Assessments

Practice Guidelines for Operative Performance Assessments

Williams RG, Kim MJ, Dunnington GL. 

Annals of Surgery. 2016



To provide recommended practice guidelines for assessing single operative performances and for combining results of operative performance assessments into estimates of overall operative performance ability.


Operative performance is one defining characteristic of surgeons. Assessment of operative performance is needed to provide feedback with learning benefits to surgical residents in training and to assist in making progress decisions for residents. Operative performance assessment has been a focus of investigation over the past 20 years. This review is designed to integrate findings of this research into a set of recommended operative performance practices.


Literature from surgery and from other pertinent research areas (psychology, education, business) was reviewed looking for evidence to inform practice guideline development. Guidelines were created along with a conceptual and scientific foundation for each guideline.


Ten guidelines are provided for assessing individual operative performances and 10 are provided for combing data from individual operative performances into overall judgments of operative performance ability.


The practice guidelines organize available information to be immediately useful to program directors, to support surgical training, and to provide a conceptual framework upon which to build as the base of pertinent knowledge expands through future research and development efforts.

PubMed ID 26967627