Effect of a resident self-study and presentation program on performance on the thoracic surgery in-training examination

David A. Bull, James C. Stringham, S. V. Karwande, Leigh A Neumayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Background: In this study we examine whether conversion from a didactic lecture format to a resident self-study and presentation program can improve performance on the Thoracic Surgery In-Training Examination (TSITE). Methods: During the first 5 years, educational conferences were didactic lectures delivered by the attending thoracic surgery staff (group 1, n = 9 residents). During the second 5 years, residents prepared and delivered reviews from major textbook sources (group 2, n = 9 residents). Scores on the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) as a chief resident in general surgery were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance to assess fund of knowledge and test-taking skills prior to thoracic surgery training for the two groups. Scores on the TSITE during the first and second years of thoracic surgery training were recorded for each resident and analyzed using a paired t test. The data are expressed as the mean ± standard deviation. Results: Eighteen thoracic surgery residents over a 10-year period were involved in the study. ABSITE scores as a chief resident in general surgery did not differ between the two groups. Residents in group 1 improved their percentile rank from the first to the second year by a mean of 11% ± 12%, whereas those in group 2 improved their scores by a mean of 31% ± 21% (P < 0.05). Conclusions: When compared with a didactic lecture format, a resident self study and presentation program improves performance on the Thoracic Surgery In-Training Examination. This improvement in performance typically manifests during the second year of thoracic surgery training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-144
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Lecture format
  • Self-study program
  • Thoracic surgery training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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