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.
- Energy-based devices