The Choice of Evaluator

We have successfully used junior residents to assess the senior residents.

Advantages include:


  • Unique learning opportunity for the juniors, simply by watching the senior perform the task.
  • The junior has a checklist for the procedure therefore there is immediate feedback (for the junior) when errors in technique are made.
  • The junior residents are easy to train as evaluators because they have already received formal instruction on the technique.
  • Availability.  Because not the entire senior class is required for the duration of the assessment, some seniors remain in the Operating Rooms releasing junior residents to serve as evaluators.

Disadvantages include:


  • Juniors may feel discomfort at having to assess their seniors.  This has not proved to be a problem in our program, mainly because the seniors realize the importance of assessment and because the juniors strictly adhere to the checklist, no subjective assessment is made.
  • Collusion between junior and senior.  The use of video monitoring significantly reduces this risk.  We have not experienced any difficulty with this issue, probably because the residents understand the importance of airway management skills.

If junior residents are not available it is also possible to use residents to assess each other.  Obviously the first group of evaluators are at a significant advantage when it comes to their assessment.

Nursing staff are easily trained as evaluators.   We have no experience with training administrative staff as evaluators but it should be possible.