Junior otolaryngology resident in-service exams predict written board exam passage.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between the Otolaryngology Training Examination (OTE) taken during residency and the passage rate of first-time examinees on the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Written Qualifying Examination (WQE). METHODS: Retrospective cohort study using a de-identified database containing information on examinees who took the WQE in 2007 through 2014, and examinees who took the OTE exam 2005 through 2014. A total of 2,214 otolaryngology residents took the WQE for the first time in 2007 through 2014 after taking the OTE during residency training. Data were analyzed using one-way frequencies and table analyses. Logistic regression was used to model the relationship between the pass/fail WQE result and the OTE stanine. Data transformations were used to analyze WQE passage as a function of OTE scores. RESULTS: There is a significant relationship between OTE score and passage of the WQE on the first attempt, evident even for junior residents. The probability of passing the WQE on the first attempt is 97% if the resident scores in the top six stanines of the OTE during residency training compared to 71% to 79% if the examinee scores in the bottom three stanines. CONCLUSION: There is a significant relationship between performance on the OTE and passing the WQE on the first attempt. Because this relationship is evident even in the first years of residency, it allows early identification of those with a higher chance of failing the WQE so that extra efforts can be undertaken to prepare for the WQE. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 129:124-128, 2019.
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