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Conference Proceeding

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Introduction: A competitive team-based approach to encourage self-studying and didactic participation is a novel method of American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) preparation. We aimed to determine if this method significantly improves residents’ percentile performances on the ABSITE. Methods: We reviewed ABSITE performance and preparation from general surgery residents for the last ten years. Percentile scores were compared before and after implementation of a purchased online question bank (TrueLearn LLC, Mooresville, NC), a team-based competition, and a virtual format of the team-based competition. Statistical analysis was performed with ANOVA Kruskal-Wallis and Mann Whitney tests where appropriate. Results: 378 ABSITE scores from 112 residents were analyzed. Overall median ABSITE percentile at the program level increased from 40.5 (IQR 20.5, 66.8) to 76.0 (49.0, 85.0) percentile (P<0.001) from 2011 to 2021. There was an increase but no significant difference in ABSITE percentile (median 57.0 (IQR 26.5, 71.5) vs 67.0 (IQR 33.5, 85.5), P=0.068) when comparing percentiles from two years prior and two years after implementation of an online question bank. However, there was a significant increase in ABSITE percentiles after implementation of an in-person team-based competition (median 67.0 (IQR 31.5, 95.5) vs 84.5 (IQR 60.8, 91.0), P=0.026). There was no significant difference of percentile scores after conversion to a virtual team-based competition (median 84.5 (IQR 60.8, 91.0) vs 76.0 (IQR 49.0, 85.0), P=0.146). Conclusions: While question banks are important to exam preparation, implementation of a team-based competition, which fosters individual preparation as well as team discussions, significantly improves ABSITE performance.


The 68th Annual Meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, Traverse City, MI, May 19, 2022.