Resident and program characteristics that impact performance on the Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP)

BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jun 7;19(1):190. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1637-4.


Background: To determine which resident and program characteristics correlate with ophthalmic knowledge, as assessed by resident Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) performance.

Methods: An online survey was sent in June 2017 to all US ophthalmology residents who took the OKAP in April 2017.

Results: The survey response rate was 13.8% (192/1387 residents). The mean respondent age was 30.4 years, and 57.3% were male. The mean [SD] self-reported 2017 OKAP percentile was 61.9 [26.7]. OKAP performance was found to have a significant positive correlation with greater number of hours spent/week studying for the OKAPs (p = 0.007), with use of online question banks (p < 0.001), with review sessions and/or lectures arranged by residency programs (p < 0.001), and with OKAP-specific didactics (p = 0.002). On multivariable analysis, factors most predictive of residents scoring ≥75th percentile were, higher step 1 scores (OR = 2.48, [95% CI: 1.68-3.64, p < 0.001]), presence of incentives (OR = 2.75, [95% CI: 1.16-6.56, p = 0.022]), greater number of hours/week spent studying (OR = 1.09, [95% CI:1.01-1.17, p = 0.026]) and fewer hours spent in research 3 months prior to examination (OR = 1.08, [95% CI: 1.01-1.15, p = 0.020]. Lastly, residents less likely to depend on group study sessions as a learning method tended to score higher (OR = 3.40, [95% CI: 1.16-9.94, p = 0.026]).

Conclusions: Programs wishing to improve resident OKAP scores might consider offering incentives, providing effective access to learning content e.g. online question banks, and adjusting the curriculum to highlight OKAP material. Step 1 scores may help educators identify residents who might be at risk of not performing as well on the OKAP.

Keywords: Education; Knowledge; OKAP; Resident.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Educational Measurement* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Ophthalmology / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires