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In-Service Examination Quizzes and Efficacy in Resident Education
Steven D. Kozusko 1 Edward A. Luce 2 1 Resident, Department of Plastic Surgery, Memphis, TN, USA 2 Professor, Department of Plastic Surgery, Memphis, TN, USA

Background: Standardized tests are an essential element of graduate education. The use of periodic examination of cognitive knowledge is universal in medicine and constitutes one step in the board certification process. In plastic surgery and other surgical specialties, the In-Service Examination, ISE, is administered annually.

Methods: One component of the UT plastic surgery program didactics is a weekly conference devoted to discussion of a set of readings centered on a specific module. Because of declining ISE scores, in 2012, the program initiated a policy of weekly examinations or quizzes. Since 2000, the questions from the ISE have been apportioned into the 103 modules of the UT curriculum. An examination of 15-18 questions based on the prior week's conference module is administered at the beginning of conference, graded, and results returned accompanied by the syllabus for each question. To determine efficacy of the weekly examination, a comparison of ISE results for the years 2007-2012 and 2012-2018 was accomplished.

Results: Stable ISE performance as independent residents progressed through the program was maintained through PGY-1 and PGY-2. Residents completing a PGY-3 in training had a 12.17 percentile increase from their PGY-2 score.

Conclusions: Weekly ISE quizzes reinforce the learning of core content, provide a continuous assessment, and enable the early identification of residents at risk who would benefit from remedial intervention.

Mahmoud A, Andrus CH, Matolo NM, Ward CC. Directed postgraduate study result in quantitative improvement in American Board of Surgery In-Training Exam scores. Am J Surg. 2006 Jun;191(6):812-6.


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