Subscription to the Surgical Council on Resident Education web portal and qualifying examination performance

J Am Coll Surg. 2014 Apr;218(4):566-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2013.12.015. Epub 2013 Dec 20.


Background: The Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE) curriculum for general surgery was developed to guide surgery residents in the acquisition of knowledge for patient care. We hypothesized that residents in programs that subscribed to the SCORE web portal would perform better on the American Board of Surgery (ABS) Surgery Qualifying Examination (QE).

Study design: Scaled scores and the percent passing the 2011 ABS Surgery QE for individual residents and programs were compared between programs that subscribed to the SCORE portal in 2010 to 2011 and those that did not subscribe. Regression analyses were performed to control for program QE percent passing from 2004 to 2008 (baseline performance), as well as demographic factors known to affect examination results.

Results: There were 200 programs and 893 residents that subscribed to the SCORE web portal and 33 programs with 139 residents that did not subscribe. Regression analysis comparing predicted 2011 mean program QE scores based on 2004 to 2008 results showed that subscribing programs had a substantial increase in mean scaled scores of 1.4 points (adjusted means of 81.5 and 80.1, respectively), controlling for the percentage of international medical graduates and program size (p = 0.048). Residents from SCORE portal subscribing programs had a QE percent passing that was 1.6% higher than nonsubscribing residents, and the mean percent passing was higher for subscribing programs (86.4% vs 82.7%), but neither difference was statistically significant. The SCORE subscription status did not correlate with program size, percent of international medical graduates, or baseline scale scores.

Conclusions: There was a considerable improvement in mean QE scaled scores for residents in programs that initially subscribed to the SCORE web portal. The percent passing the QE showed a trend toward improvement for subscribing programs and their residents. This association is promising and deserves additional investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Certification*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Curriculum*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • General Surgery / education*
  • General Surgery / standards
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Regression Analysis
  • Specialty Boards
  • United States