A Comparison of Objective Assessment Data for the United States and International Medical Graduates in a General Surgery Residency

Francisco Cardenas Lara, Nimesh D. Naik, T. K. Pandian, Becca L. Gas, Suzanne Strubel, Rachel Cadeliña, Stephanie F. Heller, David R. Farley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective To compare objective assessment scores between international medical graduates (IMGs) and United States Medical Graduates. Scores of residents who completed a preliminary year, who later matched into a categorical position, were compared to those who matched directly into a categorical position at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. Design Postgraduate year (PGY) 1 to 5 residents participate in a biannual multistation, OSCE-style assessment event as part of our surgical training program. Assessment data were, retrospectively, reviewed and analyzed from 2008 to 2016 for PGY-1 and from 2013 to 2016 for PGY 2 to 5 categorical residents. Setting Academic medical center. Participants Categorical PGY 1 to 5 General Surgery (GS) residents at Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN. Results A total of 86 GS residents were identified. Twenty-one residents (1 United States Medical Graduates [USMG] and 20 IMGs) completed a preliminary GS year, before matching into a categorical position and 68 (58 USMGs and 10 IMGs) residents, who matched directly into a categorical position, were compared. Mean scores (%) for the summer and winter multistation assessments were higher for PGY-1 trainees with a preliminary year than those without (summer: 59 vs. 37, p < 0.001; winter: 69 vs. 61, p = 0.05). Summer and winter PGY-2 scores followed the same pattern (74 vs. 64, p < 0.01; 85 vs. 71, p < 0.01). For the PGY 3 to 5 assessments, differences in scores between these groups were not observed. IMGs and USMGs scored equivalently on all assessments. Overall, junior residents showed greater score improvement between tests than their senior colleagues (mean score increase: PGY 1-2 = 18 vs. PGY 3-5 = 3, p < 0.001). Conclusions Residents with a previous preliminary GS year at our institution scored higher on initial assessments compared to trainees with no prior GS training at our institution. The scoring advantage of an added preliminary year decreased as trainees progressed through residency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1-e7
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Assessment
  • General Surgery
  • International Medical Graduates
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Patient Care
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Surgical Education
  • United States Medical Graduates


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