Absite Smackdown! · Can Surgery Program Faculty Predict Your ABSITE Performance?


By:  Jessica R

Teacher knows best...or do they? 

There are many factors that play into our education and what shapes us as residents and, eventually, attending surgeons.

Every year we take the Absite test and we see where we fall. How far we have come, our surgery knowledge, what we have retained in our education. Our instructors and program directors do not just teach us, they are evaluating.

In their evaluations do you think they have an idea or prediction for who will pass or fail? Good question. Let's answer it.

Here's a study titled "Faculty Evaluations of Resident Medical Knowledge: Can They Be Used to Predict American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination Performance?" Wordy title but an interesting topic--at least to most of us in this field.

The study consisted of a cross-sectional taken over 3 years at 2 institutions. Faculty rated residents' clinical knowledge. The study used intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), Convergent validity between faculty evaluations and ABSITE performance were assessed.

In case you don't know what that is, let me explain. In statistics, the intraclass correlation, or the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), is a descriptive statistic that can be used when quantitative measurements are made on units that are organized into groups. It describes how strongly units in the same group resemble each other.

Here is what happened. 1,562 faculty evaluations were completed for about 147 residents. There seemed to be no link between the Faculty assessments and Residents' Absite scores.

So in conclusion:  your teachers and PD can help with your education...but they don't seem to be great at predicting how well you'll do on the ABSITE!


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