Absite Smackdown! · Absite Smackdown--How To Change Your Intern Year Schedule For A Better Score


By:  David Kashmer, MD MBA

Today we're going to be discussing some other predictive factors for how well we do on the Absite.

As usual, we're going to look for ones that we can modify to maybe do better and improve things in the future beyond our previous performance. Today we're going to be talking about USMLE scores and also clinical rotations and what their roles are, if any, in predicting ABSITE performance among surgery interns.

A couple of things about this before we get started:  first, you may or may not know that the USMLE is going to a pass/fail system. So it's going to be really hard in the future for staff who come to join us at our programs to utilize USMLE score to get a sense of what performance will be.

Clinical rotation factors may be useful in predicting ABSITE score.

In May of this year, a group published a paper about just these topics and the methods included a multicenter retrospective review over six years, which investigated the correlation and association of things like demographics, USMLE scores and types of rotations on the ABSITE percentile score of interns.  

Click here for the article's abstract.

It also looked at some demographics like age, gender, race and ethnicity, United States versus international or foreign medical graduate, and similar items.

And it used these, along with statistical techniques like an ANOVA to determine whether there was any significant association between each of these factors and percentile score.

Well, interestingly, USMLE Step two scores, in their retrospective review, had a higher correlation with intern ABSITE performance than other factors.

And interestingly, an intensive care unit rotation before taking the ABSITE was associated with a significant difference in percentile scores among interns.

Another thing that really bears mentioning is that demographic factors, things like whether you graduated from a U S or foreign medical school, your race, your gender, these things were not associated with changes or significant changes in ABSITE performance. We wanted to share this with you under latest news.

It's sort of hot off the press from the Journal of Surgical Residency in 2020 March of this year.  And we wanted to share it because it highlights a couple of important factors and things that are modifiable.

If you can get an ICU rotation early on or spend time in the ICU, that really seems to improve things.

Now in our other news, in our other blog entries, we've explored some other factors that are modifiable and that can affect ABSITE score. We've listed those. We're going to continue to do that for you on the blog.

So take a look at our website AbsiteSmackdown.com and click that latest news for ongoing factors or ongoing reviews of factors that can improve ABSITE score.

Now look, it's not going to be easy to change your schedule.  Speaking with the program director hat on:  the schedule is pretty much made for the year when you show up, but just maybe you can switch with another first year to achieve an earlier time in the intensive care unit...because that really does seem to be associated with higher ABSITE score.

Bottom line, there may be an avenue to influence things there. It's not going to be an easy one. So thanks for listening to the Absite Smackdown podcast and remember to visit us at Daily.Absite.Facts on Insta where the #ProjectSmackdown team shares daily facts that are related to the Absite, and the content is other places too.

You can visit us at, @AbsiteSmackDown on Facebook, and you can also visit us on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and a lot of the other locations where this podcast is.

So wherever you listen to it, please spread the message and share the information.  Especially as we're all stuck inside during the #COVID outbreak or we're going back and forth to work and home only.

And really our lives have all changed. Let's try to use that time productively and review for ABSITE with that general surgery content to be the best surgeons we can be!

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