JournalSurgery Open Science
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AbstractIntroduction: Estimating distance is a common task in surgery, yet development of distance estimation ability receives little attention in surgical training. Although the Small bites versus large bites for closure of abdominal midline incisions (STITCH) trial reinforced the importance of suture spacing by demonstrating reduced incisional hernia incidence in placement of 5-mm fascial sutures over 1 cm, we hypothesize that neither trainee nor attending surgeons possess the ability to estimate these distances with accuracy. Methods: We distributed a 4-question distance estimation exercise and a 6-question survey to resident and attending surgeons at a single academic medical center. The mean and the absolute error were compared using a t test. Results: Most participants were trainees (44 vs 16 attendings, N = 60), and 27% used the metric system prior to undergraduate studies. The mean absolute errors for 5-mm and 1-cm mark placement were 1.40 and 2.07 mm, respectively. The 5-mm mark placement estimates ranged from 2.01 to 11.69 mm, and the 1-cm estimates ranged from 4.82 to 19.19 mm. There was no statistically significant difference in the estimates or absolute errors between trainees and attendings (5 mm P = .202; 1 cm P = .302). Conclusion: These findings suggest that estimation of distance is a challenge, and development of this fundamental skill during surgical training may have important clinical consequences. © 2020 The Authors
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Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/18540
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