Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE) certification: validation and predictors of success

Thomas N. Robinson, Jaisa Olasky, Patricia Young, Liane S. Feldman, Pascal R. Fuchshuber, Stephanie B. Jones, Amin Madani, Michael Brunt, Dean Mikami, Gretchen P. Jackson, Jessica Mischna, Steven Schwaitzberg, Daniel B. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction: The Fundamental Use of Surgical Energy (FUSE) program includes a Web-based didactic curriculum and a high-stakes multiple-choice question examination with the goal to provide certification of knowledge on the safe use of surgical energy-based devices. The purpose of this study was (1) to set a passing score through a psychometrically sound process and (2) to determine what pretest factors predicted passing the FUSE examination. Methods: Beta-testing of multiple-choice questions on 62 topics of importance to the safe use of surgical energy-based devices was performed. Eligible test takers were physicians with a minimum of 1 year of surgical training who were recruited by FUSE task force members. A pretest survey collected baseline information. Results: A total of 227 individuals completed the FUSE beta-test, and 208 completed the pretest survey. The passing/cut score for the first test form of the FUSE multiple-choice examination was determined using the modified Angoff methodology and for the second test form was determined using a linear equating methodology. The overall passing rate across the two examination forms was 81.5 %. Self-reported time studying the FUSE Web-based curriculum for a minimum of >2 h was associated with a passing examination score (p < 0.001). Performance was not different based on increased years of surgical practice (p = 0.363), self-reported expertise on one or more types of energy-based devices (p = 0.683), participation in the FUSE postgraduate course (p = 0.426), or having reviewed the FUSE manual (p = 0.428). Logistic regression found that studying the FUSE didactics for >2 h predicted a passing score (OR 3.61; 95 % CI 1.44–9.05; p = 0.006) independent of the other baseline characteristics recorded. Conclusion(s): The development of the FUSE examination, including the passing score, followed a psychometrically sound process. Self-reported time studying the FUSE curriculum predicted a passing score independent of other pretest characteristics such as years in practice and self-reported expertise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-924
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Education
  • Electrosurgery
  • Energy-based devices


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