SCORE – Leveling the Playing Field for Surgical Training Programs

Emily Jean Onufer, Anne Trolard, Mark Hickey, William Lyons, Mary E. Klingensmith, Mark A. Malangoni, Amit R.T. Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE) web portal provides a uniform, comprehensive, competency-based curriculum for general surgery residents. One of SCORE's principal founding goals was to provide equal opportunity for access of educational resources at programs across the United States which reported having a range of resources. We aimed to determine if there was a difference in portal usage by trainees in independent versus university programs, and across geographic areas. Methods: Using analytic software, we measured SCORE usage by trainees in 246 subscribing programs from August 2015 to March 2017. The primary outcome was the average duration of SCORE use per login. Secondary outcomes were the geographic region of each program, and university versus independent designation. Encounters lasting >8 hours (comprising 7% of the data set) were excluded to eliminate the likelihood of failure to log off the portal. Results: Over the study period, there were 669,501 SCORE sessions with 22% of these lasting 1 to 5 minutes, 33% lasting 6 to 30 minutes, and 28% lasting 31 to 120 minutes. Between the university (64.4% of encounters) and independent (35.6% of encounters) program types, there was no significant difference in average visit length overall, or in the normally-distributed designated time categories (t test -1.0, p = 0.3). When mean encounter length per program was compared by geographic regions, there was also no difference in the three time categories (ANOVA p = 0.9, 0.2, and 0.5, respectively). Conclusions: Most (50%) of SCORE encounters lasted 30 minutes of less, confirming prior work that shows trainees use the portal in relatively short bursts of activity. While there were more encounters from university program trainees (proportional with their greater numbers), the mean duration of an individual encounter did not significantly differ by program type as a whole or by region. These results suggest that SCORE is an equally accessible educational resource and is used by surgical trainees, regardless of program type or geographic region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e146-e151
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Curriculum
  • Educational resources
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
  • Resident education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'SCORE – Leveling the Playing Field for Surgical Training Programs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Onufer, E. J., Trolard, A., Hickey, M., Lyons, W., Klingensmith, M. E., Malangoni, M. A., & Joshi, A. R. T. (2019). SCORE – Leveling the Playing Field for Surgical Training Programs. Journal of Surgical Education, 76(6), e146-e151.