Psychomotor Testing for Orthopedic Residency Applicants: A Pilot Study

Academic Article


  • Objective The purpose of this study was to develop an objective motor skills testing system to aid in the evaluation of potential orthopedic residents. Design Participants attempted a battery of 5 motor skills tests (4 novel tests and the Grooved Pegboard [GPT] Test) in one 10-minute session. A percentile-based scoring system was created for each test based on raw scores. One-way analysis of variance was used to compare testing scores among 3 cohorts. Each novel test and overall scores were compared with GPT scores as a relative measure of validity. Setting The 2015 orthopedic surgery residency interview season at an academic institution. Participants Thirty orthopedic residents and 72 nonresidents (15 community volunteers and 57 orthopedic surgery residency applicants). Results Overall, residents performed better than nonresidents (p < 0.0001) and applicants performed worse than residents or volunteers (p < 0.0001). There were positive correlations between the GPT score and overall battery score (r = 0.63), screw and nut test (r = 0.40), and mimic a structure test (r = 0.26). The fracture reduction test and drilling test scores did not correlate to performance on the GPT. Conclusions Psychomotor testing for surgical applicants is an area in need of study. This investigation successfully piloted a novel battery of tests, which is easily reproducible and thus may be feasible for use in the orthopedic surgery residency interview setting. Longitudinal evaluation is required to explore correlation with future operative skill.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Williams JF; Watson SL; Baker DK; Ponce BA; McGwin G; Gilbert SR; Khoury JG
  • Start Page

  • 820
  • End Page

  • 827
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 5