Impact of peer-delivered tuition/feedback on appointment to UK Higher Surgical Training

Melvin Joy, Wen Ling Choong, Marta Madurska, Benjie Tang, Brian Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


In the UK, Core Surgical Trainees (or equivalent) undergo a rigorous National Selection (NS) process to secure a ST3 Training Post in General/Vascular Surgery. Despite decrease in competition ratio from 3:1 in 2012 to 1.48:1 in 2017, many applicants were unable to secure ST3 Training Posts. We hypothesise this is due to applicant performance anxiety rather than lack of clinical experience. We designed a 2-day structured course to address the applicant’s confidence levels in preparing for NS.

This is a prospective observational study following 27 delegates who completed a 2-day course delivered by surgical consultants and trainees; consisting of didactic lectures and interactive practice with a 1:1 faculty:delegate ratio. A specific mentor was nominated to oversee the delegate’s progress throughout and post course. Personalised feedback was given by the entire faculty throughout the course. Delegates were asked to complete evaluation forms to track their perceived confidence levels of success at NS at different timeframes, measured by a visual analogue scale. Paired t -test was performed to compare the mean confidence level pre- and post- course.

Evaluation forms were received from all (n = 27) delegates. Self-reported confidence increased significantly for all domains except Professional Communication. 23 (85%) participants were successful at interviews post course. There was no statistically significant difference between UK and non-UK graduates, first time and not-first-time applicants.

Peer-delivered teaching, practice and feedback as a structured interview practice course significantly improves applicants’ confidence levels which translates to higher success rate at National Selection.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberznab362.085
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue numberIssue Supplement_7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021


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