Evaluation of surgical confidence and competence with surgical EPAs after repeated use of low-fidelity training models in veterinary students

Jamie-Leigh Thompson*, Jill R D MacKay, Kelly Blacklock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: The study aimed to evaluate if low-fidelity surgical training models increased students’ surgical confidence and competence and decreased procedural stress relating to core surgical entrustable professional activities (EPAs).
Methods: Final-year students repeatedly performed one of three surgical EPAs on a low-fidelity surgical training model (canine castration, subcutaneous lump removal and eyelid laceration repair) and completed a survey at set time-points. A grading rubric was used to assess participant competence in performing the assigned EPA at 2 different time-points. Survey results and competency gradings were compiled and analysed.
Results: Student self-assessed confidence increased, and stress decreased significantly between assessment points on all 3 EPA surgical training models. Graded competence significantly improved on all training models between the assessment points and most students deemed the model’s to be realistic and helpful for student practices.
Conclusions: Repeated exposure to low-fidelity surgical training models, increased final-year students’ surgical confidence, competence and reduced procedural stress relating to 3 key surgical EPAs. Assessment of competence using a grading rubric, was successful and could be incorporated into a competence-based veterinary education assessment framework to allow screening of competence prior to graduation.
Limitations: Limitations relate to the study involving a single cohort from a single institute and the reliance on student self-assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2779
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number8
Early online date13 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • entrustable professional activities
  • surgical models
  • surgical training
  • veterinary education
  • veterinary students


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