The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 was recently made pass/fail. This decision was controversial largely because of the reliance on USMLE Step 1 scores in resident selection. However, these scores do not correlate with resident ability. In this manuscript, we consider if the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) should be pass/fail as well. The ABSITE has been used for "high-stakes" purposes, such as preliminary resident advancement and prospective fellow evaluation, for which it was not intended. Moreover, similar to the USMLE Step 1 exam, ABSITE scores have demonstrated no correlation with clinical ability. A pass/fail ABSITE would return the exam to its original purpose and minimize an over-reliance on scores. Moving forward, new objective measures will need to be developed to assess surgical trainees in a more holistic manner.
Keywords: ABSITE; USMLE; fellowship; residency; testing.
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