Psychomotor skills of surgical trainees compared with those of different medical specialists

C. J. Harris, M. Herbert, R. J. C. Steele

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Forty-eight trainees in surgery, psychiatry, anaesthetics and medicine underwent objective testing of manual dexterity (Mandex test), hand-eye coordination (Gibson spiral maze test) and visuospatial ability (embedded figures task). Surgical trainees performed significantly more quickly on the spiral maze test than psychiatrists (P = 0.03) but made more errors (P = 0.02). Combining male and female subjects across all groups, women were significantly more accurate than men. When men only were compared no psychomotor differences between specialty groups could be demonstrated. There were no differences in visuospatial ability by either sex or specialty. Self-selection on the basis of such skill is therefore unlikely.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)382-383
    Number of pages2
    JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1994


    • Adult
    • Anesthesiology
    • Clinical Competence
    • Female
    • General Surgery
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Physicians
    • Psychiatry
    • Psychomotor Performance
    • Sex Factors


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