The impact of an advanced certifying examination simulation program on the American board of surgery certifying examination passage rates

Daniel A. London, Michael M. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The national pass rate for the American Board of Surgery Certifying Examination has decreased in the past 5 years. An individual's ability to pass might be as dependent on his or her handling of the psychology of the examination - the "examanship" - because it is about clinical knowledge and judgment. To assess this, we implemented the Advanced Certifying Examination Simulation (ACES) program. The ACES was created as a novel method to simulate the stress of the Certifying Examination and focuses on the examanship of the test. Study Design We compared the outcomes of the ACES program with its predecessor, a conventional mock oral program, as measured by residents' first-time pass rates on the Certifying Examination. First-time Certifying Examination pass rates of 26 residents who went through the ACES program were compared with 30 residents who completed the conventional mock oral program. Results There was a significant increase in passage rates for residents taking part in the ACES program (100%) compared with residents taking part in the conventional mock oral group (83.3%). The groups were equivalent based on previously determined predictive factors of Certifying Examination success, such as in-training and licensing examination scores. Conclusions The ACES program provides feedback on the qualities of examanship: controlling anxiety, expressing a positive attitude, and maintaining a strong and confident voice. By providing a structured, simulated venue where residents can safely gain experience, we believe that ACES might lead to increased first-time passage rates on the American Board of Surgery Certifying Examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-284
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume219
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

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