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April 1996

Survey Analysis of the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, and General Surgery Residency Program, St Elizabeth Health Center, Youngstown, Ohio.

Arch Surg. 1996;131(4):412-415. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430160070013

Objective:  To determine how other program directors use the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) scores in the resident evaluation process.

Design:  A cover letter and a printed one-page survey of eight questions about individual residency programs, the use of ABSITE scores in the evaluation process, minimum score for advancement, and actions taken, if any, for failure to meet required scores; space was provided for comments.

Setting:  Two hundred seventy directors of surgical residency programs.

Participants:  Two hundred thirty-one (86%) directors of general surgery residency programs.

Main Outcome Measures:  The responses received in this questionnaire were similar to those received in the 1983 survey given by the American Board of Surgery.

Results:  The majority of directors require their residents to take the ABSITE, but they differ greatly in their methods to retain or dismiss a resident, to evaluate the program and the cognitive knowledge of the residents, and to measure resident performance.

Conclusions:  The actions taken by program directors in their use of ABSITE scores vary widely, with a noticeable difference found when comparing the methods between the university and community hospital directors. Our survey findings show that there is still no uniform standard or agreement as to how the scores should be used, even though the ABSITE has been in existence for 20 years.(Arch Surg. 1996;131:412-415)

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