Perceptions of USMLE Stage 1 pass / fail reports among orthopedic surgery residency program directors


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Orthopedics. 2021 2: 1-5. doi: 10.3928 / 01477447-20211124-08. Online ahead of print.


The United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Stage 1 exam will move from scoring to pass / fail from January 2022 at the earliest. Orthopedic surgery residency programs will need to adapt to these changes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of directors of orthopedic surgery residency programs on moving from step 1 of a graded exam to a pass / fail exam. We also investigated how the change would affect other factors that are typically considered in the selection of orthopedic surgery residents. A survey was distributed to 161 directors of allopathic orthopedic surgery programs. Contact details were obtained from a national database. Of those contacted, 75 (46.6%) program managers responded. Most (85.3%) were not in favor of the pass / fail change. Most think that more importance will be given to the examination of clinical knowledge of stage 2 (96.0%), elective hearing with their department (84.0%), personal knowledge of the candidate (78.7 %), notes (74.7%), letters of recommendation from recognizable orthopedic surgeons (74.7%) and Alpha Omega Alpha status (69.3%). Most also believe that this change will benefit allopathic students who attend high-reputable schools (58.7%). Most program directors support a graduated preclinical program (69.3%) and cap the number of orthopedic surgery residency requests (70.7%). While most orthopedic surgery program directors disagree with moving to a Step 1 pass / fail exam, residency programs will need to re-evaluate how they select candidates for an interview once. that step 1 noted is no longer available. With this change, other factors, such as stage 2 score, hearing rotations, and stage grades, will become more evident. [Orthopedics. 202x;4x(x):xx-xx.].

PMID: 34846244 | DOI: 10.3928 / 01477447-20211124-08


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