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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 87-100

US residents' perspectives on the introduction, conduct, and value of american board of anesthesiology's objective structured clinical examination-results of the 1st nationwide questionnaire survey

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine Perelman School of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Basavana Goudra
Perelman School of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, PA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aer.aer_76_21

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Introduction: Passing the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is currently a requirement for the vast majority (not all) of candidates to gain American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) initial certification. Many publications from the ABA have attempted to justify its introduction, conduct and value. However, the ABA has never attempted to understand the views of the residents. Methods: A total of 4237 residents at various training levels from 132 programs were surveyed by asking to fill a Google questionnaire prospectively between March 8th, 2021 and April 10th, 2021. Every potential participant was sent an original email followed by 2 reminders. Results: The overall response rate was 17.26% (710 responses to 4112 invitations). On a 5-point Likert scale with 1 as “very inaccurate” and 5 as “very accurate,” the mean accuracy of objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in assessing communication skills and professionalism was 2.3 and 2.1 respectively. In terms of the usefulness of OSCE training for improving physicians' clinical practice, avoiding lawsuits, teaching effective communication with patients and teaching effective communication with other providers, the means on a 5-point Likert scale with 1 as “Not at all useful” and 5 as “Very useful” were 1.86, 1.69, 1.79, and 1.82 respectively. Residents unanimously thought that factors such as culture, race/ethnicity, religion and language adversely influence the assessment of communication skills. On a 5-point Likert scale with 1 as “not at all affected” and 5 as “very affected,” the corresponding scores were 3.45, 3.19, 3.89, and 3.18 respectively. Interestingly, nationality and political affiliation were also thought to influence this assessment, however, to a lesser extent. In addition, residents believed it is inappropriate to test non-cardiac anesthesiologists for TEE skills (2.39), but felt it was appropriate to test non-regional anesthesiologists in Ultrasound skills (3.29). Lastly, nearly 80% of the residents think that money was the primary motivating factor behind ABA's introduction of the OSCE. Over 96% residents think that OSCE should be stalled, either permanently scrapped (60.8%) or paused (35.8%). Conclusions: Anesthesiology residents in the United States overwhelmingly indicated that the OSCE does not serve any useful purpose and should be immediately halted.

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