C4 - 07: STRUCTURED PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: A GUIDE TO IMPROVING CONFIDENCE IN PREPARATION FOR THE AMERICAN BOARD OF SURGERY ORAL EXAMINATION
Marcie Feinman, MD, MEHP1, Solange Cox, MD1, Elizabeth Colantuoni, PhD2, Elliott R Haut, MD, PhD2; 1Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, 2Johns Hopkins Hospital
Introduction: Mock oral exams are commonly used in surgical residency, although their effectiveness has not been proven. We hypothesized that a structured curriculum would improve residents’ oral exam skills in preparation for the American Board of Surgery Certifying Examination (ABS CE).
Methods: A mock orals curriculum was developed utilizing best practices found in the literature. We incorporated principles of adult learning to maximize knowledge and skill retention. Clinical PGY3 to PGY 5 residents participated from four Baltimore hospitals. Pre and post-course surveys gauged the residents’ opinions of their own oral exam skills. Residents attended monthly 2-hour public sessions where they participated both as examinees (videotaped), and as audience members delivering feedback on others’ exam-taking abilities. The residents were given immediate content feedback by the examiner and were emailed anonymous audience feedback regarding their exam-taking skills. Self-reflection occurred via evaluation of their video. Data from the pre and post course surveys were analyzed using Fishers exact test. Additionally, the evaluations from the audience were evaluated.
Results: While there was no difference noted in the audience perceptions of individual residents’ skills over time, we noted a statistically significant improvement in the residents’ perceptions of their own skills in 7 domains. All residents agreed that the structured curriculum improved their ability to take the oral boards.
Conclusion: Residents’ perceptions of their exam-taking skills and confidence increase with structured practice. Our curriculum can be instituted in residency programs around the country with minimal time commitment from faculty and may improve outcomes on the ABS CE.