Development of an Assessment Tool for Surgeons in Their First Year of Independent Practice: The Junior Surgeon Performance Assessment Tool

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2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to create an assessment tool to evaluate newly practicing surgeons. DESIGN: In this prospective mixed methods study, a needs assessment was performed by conducting focus groups with practicing general surgeons, asking questions regarding essential surgeon qualities, behaviors observed in inexperienced surgeons, current assessment methods, and desired assessment tool elements and attributes. A qualitative analysis was performed using a grounded theory methodology. The Junior Surgeon Performance Assessment Tool (JSPAT) was created using a 4-point scale for each category developed, with themes identified in the qualitative analysis used to create behavioral anchors. The JSPAT was evaluated by focus group participants and by members of the American College of Surgeons Advisory Council for Rural Surgery using an online survey. SETTING: Rural and nonuniversity-based hospitals throughout the state of Oregon. PARTICIPANTS: Practicing general surgeons. RESULTS: Focus groups consisted of 31 surgeons (mean age 49, mean experience 17 years) from 11 different hospitals. Qualitative analysis revealed 91 different themes, which were grouped into 5 domains (technical skills, interaction with patients, interaction with surgeon colleagues, interactions with the greater medical community, and self-care) to create the assessment tool. Twenty online survey responses providing feedback on the assessment tool were obtained, with 75% rating the JSPAT useful or very useful and 69% satisfied or very satisfied with the time to complete the tool. CONCLUSIONS: A mixed-methods model was used to create an assessment tool for surgeons in their first year of independent practice. Survey data demonstrated that practicing surgeons find value in the JSPAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e199-e208
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • assessment tool
  • competency
  • feedback
  • general surgery
  • new-graduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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