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Benefits of Mock Oral Examinations in a Multi-institutional Consortium for Board Certification in General Surgery Training

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The Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education (SEMCME) is a consortium of teaching hospitals in the Greater Detroit metropolitan area. SEMCME pools its resources for several educational means, including mock oral board examinations. The educational and cost benefits to mock oral examinations on a multi-institutional basis in preparation for the American Board of Surgery (ABS) certifying examination were analyzed. Ten-year multi-institution data from the mock oral examinations were correlated with ABS certifying examination pass rates. Mock oral examination scores were available for 107 of 147 graduates, which included 12 candidates who failed their certifying examination on the first attempt (pass rate = 89%). Four of 31 examinees who had a low score (4.9 or less) in their mock oral exams failed their certifying examination in their first attempt. The cost of running the mock examination was low (approximately $35/resident for 50 residents). When graduates from the last 10 years were surveyed, the majority of respondents believed that the mock oral examination helped in their success and with their preparation for the certifying examination. Thus, the many benefits of administering the examination with the resources of a consortium of hospitals result in the accurate reproduction of real-life testing conditions with reasonable overall costs per resident.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2009

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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