Predicting performance on the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying examinations: A multi-institutional study

Christian De Virgilio, Arezou Yaghoubian, Amy Kaji, J. Craig Collins, Karen Deveney, Matthew Dolich, David Easter, O. Joe Hines, Steven Katz, Terrence Liu, Ahmed Mahmoud, Marc L. Melcher, Steven Parks, Mark Reeves, Ali Salim, Lynette Scherer, Danny Takanishi, Kenneth Waxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: We sought to determine whether US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score, American Board of Surgery (ABS) In-Training Examination (ABSITE) score, and other variables are associated with failing the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations. Identifying such factors may assist in the early implementation of an academic intervention for at-risk residents. Design: Retrospective review. Setting: Seventeen general surgery training programs in the western United States. Participants: Six hundred seven residents who graduated in 2000-2007. Main Outcome Measures: First-time pass rates on the qualifying and certifying examinations, US vs non-US medical school graduation, USMLE Steps 1 and 2 scores, ABSITE scores, operative case volume, fellowship training, residency program type, and mandatory research. Results: The first-time qualifying and certifying examination pass rates for the 607 graduating residents were 78% and 74%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, scoring below the 35th percentile on the ABSITE at any time during residency was associated with an increased risk of failing both examinations (odds ratio, 0.23 [95% confidence interval, 0.08-0.68] for the qualifying examination and 0.35 [0.20-0.61] for the certifying examination), as was scoring less than 200 on the USMLE Step 1 (0.36 [0.21-0.62] for the qualifying examination and 0.62 [0.42-0.93] for the certifying examination). A mandatory research year was associated with an increased likelihood of passing the certifying examination (odds ratio, 3.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.6-6.8]). Conclusions: Residents who are more likely to fail the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations can be identified by a low USMLE Step 1 score and by poor performance on the ABSITE at any time during residency. These findings support the use of the USMLE Step 1 score in the surgical residency selection process and a formal academic intervention for residents who perform poorly on the ABSITE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-856
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Surgery
Volume145
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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Licensure
Internship and Residency
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Education
Medical Schools
Research
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

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Predicting performance on the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying examinations : A multi-institutional study. / De Virgilio, Christian; Yaghoubian, Arezou; Kaji, Amy; Collins, J. Craig; Deveney, Karen; Dolich, Matthew; Easter, David; Hines, O. Joe; Katz, Steven; Liu, Terrence; Mahmoud, Ahmed; Melcher, Marc L.; Parks, Steven; Reeves, Mark; Salim, Ali; Scherer, Lynette; Takanishi, Danny; Waxman, Kenneth.

In: Archives of Surgery, Vol. 145, No. 9, 2010, p. 852-856.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

De Virgilio, C, Yaghoubian, A, Kaji, A, Collins, JC, Deveney, K, Dolich, M, Easter, D, Hines, OJ, Katz, S, Liu, T, Mahmoud, A, Melcher, ML, Parks, S, Reeves, M, Salim, A, Scherer, L, Takanishi, D & Waxman, K 2010, 'Predicting performance on the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying examinations: A multi-institutional study', Archives of Surgery, vol. 145, no. 9, pp. 852-856. https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.2010.177
De Virgilio, Christian ; Yaghoubian, Arezou ; Kaji, Amy ; Collins, J. Craig ; Deveney, Karen ; Dolich, Matthew ; Easter, David ; Hines, O. Joe ; Katz, Steven ; Liu, Terrence ; Mahmoud, Ahmed ; Melcher, Marc L. ; Parks, Steven ; Reeves, Mark ; Salim, Ali ; Scherer, Lynette ; Takanishi, Danny ; Waxman, Kenneth. / Predicting performance on the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying examinations : A multi-institutional study. In: Archives of Surgery. 2010 ; Vol. 145, No. 9. pp. 852-856.
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abstract = "Background: We sought to determine whether US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score, American Board of Surgery (ABS) In-Training Examination (ABSITE) score, and other variables are associated with failing the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations. Identifying such factors may assist in the early implementation of an academic intervention for at-risk residents. Design: Retrospective review. Setting: Seventeen general surgery training programs in the western United States. Participants: Six hundred seven residents who graduated in 2000-2007. Main Outcome Measures: First-time pass rates on the qualifying and certifying examinations, US vs non-US medical school graduation, USMLE Steps 1 and 2 scores, ABSITE scores, operative case volume, fellowship training, residency program type, and mandatory research. Results: The first-time qualifying and certifying examination pass rates for the 607 graduating residents were 78{\%} and 74{\%}, respectively. On multivariable analysis, scoring below the 35th percentile on the ABSITE at any time during residency was associated with an increased risk of failing both examinations (odds ratio, 0.23 [95{\%} confidence interval, 0.08-0.68] for the qualifying examination and 0.35 [0.20-0.61] for the certifying examination), as was scoring less than 200 on the USMLE Step 1 (0.36 [0.21-0.62] for the qualifying examination and 0.62 [0.42-0.93] for the certifying examination). A mandatory research year was associated with an increased likelihood of passing the certifying examination (odds ratio, 3.3 [95{\%} confidence interval, 1.6-6.8]). Conclusions: Residents who are more likely to fail the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations can be identified by a low USMLE Step 1 score and by poor performance on the ABSITE at any time during residency. These findings support the use of the USMLE Step 1 score in the surgical residency selection process and a formal academic intervention for residents who perform poorly on the ABSITE.",
author = "{De Virgilio}, Christian and Arezou Yaghoubian and Amy Kaji and Collins, {J. Craig} and Karen Deveney and Matthew Dolich and David Easter and Hines, {O. Joe} and Steven Katz and Terrence Liu and Ahmed Mahmoud and Melcher, {Marc L.} and Steven Parks and Mark Reeves and Ali Salim and Lynette Scherer and Danny Takanishi and Kenneth Waxman",
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T1 - Predicting performance on the American Board of Surgery qualifying and certifying examinations

T2 - A multi-institutional study

AU - De Virgilio, Christian

AU - Yaghoubian, Arezou

AU - Kaji, Amy

AU - Collins, J. Craig

AU - Deveney, Karen

AU - Dolich, Matthew

AU - Easter, David

AU - Hines, O. Joe

AU - Katz, Steven

AU - Liu, Terrence

AU - Mahmoud, Ahmed

AU - Melcher, Marc L.

AU - Parks, Steven

AU - Reeves, Mark

AU - Salim, Ali

AU - Scherer, Lynette

AU - Takanishi, Danny

AU - Waxman, Kenneth

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N2 - Background: We sought to determine whether US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score, American Board of Surgery (ABS) In-Training Examination (ABSITE) score, and other variables are associated with failing the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations. Identifying such factors may assist in the early implementation of an academic intervention for at-risk residents. Design: Retrospective review. Setting: Seventeen general surgery training programs in the western United States. Participants: Six hundred seven residents who graduated in 2000-2007. Main Outcome Measures: First-time pass rates on the qualifying and certifying examinations, US vs non-US medical school graduation, USMLE Steps 1 and 2 scores, ABSITE scores, operative case volume, fellowship training, residency program type, and mandatory research. Results: The first-time qualifying and certifying examination pass rates for the 607 graduating residents were 78% and 74%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, scoring below the 35th percentile on the ABSITE at any time during residency was associated with an increased risk of failing both examinations (odds ratio, 0.23 [95% confidence interval, 0.08-0.68] for the qualifying examination and 0.35 [0.20-0.61] for the certifying examination), as was scoring less than 200 on the USMLE Step 1 (0.36 [0.21-0.62] for the qualifying examination and 0.62 [0.42-0.93] for the certifying examination). A mandatory research year was associated with an increased likelihood of passing the certifying examination (odds ratio, 3.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.6-6.8]). Conclusions: Residents who are more likely to fail the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations can be identified by a low USMLE Step 1 score and by poor performance on the ABSITE at any time during residency. These findings support the use of the USMLE Step 1 score in the surgical residency selection process and a formal academic intervention for residents who perform poorly on the ABSITE.

AB - Background: We sought to determine whether US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score, American Board of Surgery (ABS) In-Training Examination (ABSITE) score, and other variables are associated with failing the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations. Identifying such factors may assist in the early implementation of an academic intervention for at-risk residents. Design: Retrospective review. Setting: Seventeen general surgery training programs in the western United States. Participants: Six hundred seven residents who graduated in 2000-2007. Main Outcome Measures: First-time pass rates on the qualifying and certifying examinations, US vs non-US medical school graduation, USMLE Steps 1 and 2 scores, ABSITE scores, operative case volume, fellowship training, residency program type, and mandatory research. Results: The first-time qualifying and certifying examination pass rates for the 607 graduating residents were 78% and 74%, respectively. On multivariable analysis, scoring below the 35th percentile on the ABSITE at any time during residency was associated with an increased risk of failing both examinations (odds ratio, 0.23 [95% confidence interval, 0.08-0.68] for the qualifying examination and 0.35 [0.20-0.61] for the certifying examination), as was scoring less than 200 on the USMLE Step 1 (0.36 [0.21-0.62] for the qualifying examination and 0.62 [0.42-0.93] for the certifying examination). A mandatory research year was associated with an increased likelihood of passing the certifying examination (odds ratio, 3.3 [95% confidence interval, 1.6-6.8]). Conclusions: Residents who are more likely to fail the ABS qualifying and certifying examinations can be identified by a low USMLE Step 1 score and by poor performance on the ABSITE at any time during residency. These findings support the use of the USMLE Step 1 score in the surgical residency selection process and a formal academic intervention for residents who perform poorly on the ABSITE.

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