Resident Readiness for Senior Level Decision Making: Identifying the Domains for Formative Assessment and Feedback

ACS SRRA Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To establish expert consensus regarding the domains and topics for senior surgery residents (PGY-4) to make critical decisions and assume senior-level responsibilities, and to develop the formative American College of Surgeons Senior Resident Readiness Assessment (ACS SRRA) Program. DESIGN: The American College of Surgeons (ACS) education leadership team conducted a focus group with surgical experts to identify the content for an assessment tool to evaluate senior residents’ readiness for their increased levels of responsibility. After the focus group, national experts were recruited to develop consensus on the topics through three rounds of surveys using Delphi methodology. The Delphi participants rated topics using Likert-type scales and their comments were incorporated into subsequent rounds. Consensus was defined as ≥ 80% agreement with internal-consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha) ≥ 0.8. In a stepwise fashion, topics that did not achieve consensus for inclusion were removed from subsequent survey rounds. SETTING: The surveys were administered via an online questionnaire. PARTICIPANTS: Twelve program directors and assistant program directors made up the focus group. The 39 Delphi participants represented seven different surgical subspecialties and were from diverse practice settings. The median length of experience in general surgery resident education was 20 years (IQR 14.3-30.0) with 64% of the experts being either current or past general surgery residency program directors. RESULTS: The response rate was 100% and Cronbach's alpha was ≥ 0.9 for each round. The Delphi participants contributed a large number of comments. Of the 201 topics that were evaluated initially, 120 topics in 25 core clinical areas were included to create the final domains of ACS SRRA. CONCLUSIONS: National consensus on the domain of the ACS SRRA has been achieved via the modified Delphi method among expert surgeon educators. ACS SRRA will identify clinical topics and areas in which each senior resident needs improvement and provide data to residents and residency programs to develop individualized learning plans. This would help in preparing the senior residents to assume their responsibilities and support their readiness for future fellowship training or surgical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1124-1131
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Delphi method
  • Resident assessment
  • clinical readiness
  • individualized (or targeted) learning.
  • senior residents
  • surgical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Resident Readiness for Senior Level Decision Making: Identifying the Domains for Formative Assessment and Feedback'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this