Improvement in American Board of Surgery in-training examination performance with a multidisciplinary surgeon-directed integrated learning platform.
BACKGROUND: The American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) is a predictor of resident performance on the general surgery-qualifying examination and plays a role in obtaining competitive fellowships. A learning management system (LMS) permits the delivery of a structured curriculum that appeals to the modern resident owing to the ease of accessibility and all-in-one organization. This study hypothesizes that trainees using a structured surgeon-directed LMS will achieve improved ABSITE scores compared with those using an unstructured approach to the examination. STUDY DESIGN: A multidisciplinary print and digital review course with practice questions, review textbooks, weekly reading assignments, and slide and audio reviews integrated within an online LMS was made available to postgraduate year (PGY)-3 and PGY-4 residents in 2008 and 2009. Surveys were emailed requesting ABSITE scores to compare outcomes in those trainees that used the course with those who used an unstructured approach. Statistical analysis was conducted via descriptive statistics and Pearson chi-square with p < 0.05 deemed statistically significant. RESULTS: Surveys were mailed to 508 trainees. There was an 80% (408) response rate. Residents who used structured approaches in both the years achieved the highest scores, followed by those who adopted a structured approach in PGY-4. The residents using an unstructured approach in both the years showed no significant improvement. CONCLUSION: Residents who used a structured LMS performed significantly better than their counterparts who used an unstructured approach. A properly constructed online education curriculum has the potential to improve ABSITE scores.
Dua, A; Sudan, R; Desai, SS
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