PS3 - 01: A DISCONNECT BETWEEN EXAMINEE AND EXAMINER PERCEPTIONS OF ORAL EXAMINATIONS
Susanna M Nazarian, MD, PhD1, Amit R Joshi, MD, FACS2, Jeffrey M Farma, MD, FACS3, Jeffrey L Butcher, MD, FACS4, Christopher M Pezzi, MD, FACS5, Niels D Martin, MD, FACS, FCCM1; 1University of Pennsylvania, 2Einstein Healthcare Network, 3Fox Chase Cancer Center, 4Crozer-Chester Medical Center, 5Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center
Introduction: Oral board examinations assess clinical judgment but require unique preparation and delivery. We hypothesized that trainees and examiners differ in perceptions of the examination.
Methods: A previously validated, joint mock oral board examination (MOBE) was administered among 9 regional training programs. Faculty examined trainees from different institutions. Examinees and examiners later completed voluntary, blinded surveys. Using a 10-point Likert scale, we evaluated preparation, expectations, impressions of the exam and examinee performance. Scores of 8 or greater were considered confident scoring. Results are expressed as medians with interquartile ranges (IR).
Results: 52 of 53 examinees (98.1%) completed the survey. Most examinees were 5 years out from medical school; 15.4% were currently in fellowship. One third had taken some form of prior MOBE; 71.1% plan to take a commercial preparation course.
Only 69.2% of examinees believed the questions were “realistic,” and 46.2% felt “at ease” in the MOBE. 26.9% reported inadequate time to answer questions. Most examinees prepared 0 hours (IR 0, 4). 62% understood how to prepare. Only 48.1% felt adequately prepared by their training program.
Of 57 examiners, 31 (54.4%) completed the survey. Median initial year of American Board of Surgery certification was 2008. Examiners felt confident preparing MOBE questions (median 10, IR 8.15, 10) and that the grading was fair (median 9.5, IR 8.15, 10). 80.6% stated that their institutions’ examinees had been provided MOBE preparation (median 4 hours, IR 4, 7.5): MOBE at their institution (55.2%), sharing experiences with the Certifying Examination (37.9%), offering lessons from prior mock orals (34.5%), facilitating practice between trainees (20.7%), recommending reading (17.2%) and providing old Certifying Examination questions (3.5%). Nearly all (median 10) strongly agreed that the MOBE was useful for their trainees, but only 45.1% felt that examinees performed as well as they expected. Nonetheless, only 19.5% reported that they would change their training methodologies.
Conclusion: MOBE examinees feel inadequately prepared by their residency training programs for oral examinations. Faculty are disappointed in trainee performance but infrequently express plans to change their educational approaches. Bridging this gap in perceptions appears crucial to improve examinee performance.