ABOS GME Chair Message
On behalf of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Board of Directors, I want to welcome our new PGY-1 Orthopaedic Surgery Residents and welcome back our veteran Residents. As you prepare for the upcoming Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE), I want to make sure you know about an important initiative regarding that Examination and the ABOS Part I Examination. For the last several years, the ABOS and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have collaborated on a set of questions that are included on both the ABOS Part I Examination and the AAOS OITE each year.
By having a set of the same questions on each Examination, it allows a rough linking process that can approximately identify the minimum score needed on the OITE to correspond to a passing level on the ABOS Part I Examination. As this involves only a subset of questions on each examination, it is not a perfect linking, but it can give residents a rough guide to let them know if they are on the right path toward passing the ABOS Part I Examination. Think of it as the relationship between the PSAT and the SAT. The OITE occurs yearly in the fall, while the ABOS Part I Examination is available to graduating orthopaedic surgery residents in July.
Both the ABOS and the AAOS have worked together to create a similar Blueprint for each Examination. This document provides the general makeup of the Examination. For example, the Blueprint contains information about the percentage of questions that will focus on hand surgery. This shared Blueprint is available at www.abos.org/certification/part-i/blueprint/. While the ABOS and AAOS are separate organizations, each with an important mission, this is an important area of collaboration. The Examinations remain separate, each with its own purpose.
In the interest of reporting the scores of the OITE scores as soon as possible, the linking data is not immediately available on the OITE score report. After additional work is done by the psychometricians, the score that roughly corresponds to the passing score on the ABOS Part I Examination is made available. Residents whose programs are participating in the ABOS Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior (ABOS KSB) Program have access to their Dashboard and can find this information in the knowledge section. All orthopaedic surgery residents will soon have access to their own ABOS Dashboard. The linking information is also available through the AAOS OITE technical report.
For additional information, I highly recommend that you listen to a recent episode of the ABOS Podcast about the linking initiative, featuring ABOS Executive Medical Director Dr. David Martin and AAOS 2nd Vice President Dr. Paul Tornetta. Both have been instrumental in this initiative. You can find the episode on most podcast apps and through anchor.fm/abos.
Lisa A. Taitsman, MD, MPH
Chair, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Graduate Medical Education Committee
Executive Medical Director Report
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) is always looking for ways to improve the orthopaedic surgery residency education experience. Over the last several years, the ABOS has conducted several surveys and conducted online orthopaedic resident focus groups. Thank you very much for those who have participated.
Nearly 600 residents completed the recent survey concerning the linking of the ABOS Part I Examination with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Orthopaedic In-Training (OITE) Examination. We were delighted that nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents knew that the two Examinations share a common Blueprint. And an even higher percentage of respondents knew that there is a rough benchmark for performance on the OITE that is approximately linked to a passing performance on the ABOS Part I Examination.
However, significantly fewer resident respondents knew where to find the Blueprint or information about the examination linking. That is encouraging the ABOS to look for ways to improve communications in these areas. Information about both the Blueprint and the linking can be found here: www.abos.org/residents/. The ABOS is working on several communication activities to ensure that all residents—and their Program Coordinators and Program Directors—know about these important initiatives. In addition to making sure that orthopaedic residents know about the initiatives, we want to make sure that they find the information helpful.
Our previous surveys and focus groups have led to the creation of the ABOS Resident Advisory Panel. In addition, feedback from residents has led us to allow breast-feeding mothers additional break time during the Part I Examination to pump. The survey and focus group responses also convinced us to change the time-off policy for residents so that they work an average of 46 weeks a year, allowing them to take time to be with a child, help a sick parent, or just relax.
Thank you for all the feedback. Please continue to answer ABOS surveys when you get them. You can always reach out directly to me with any concerns you have at email@example.com.
David F. Martin, MD
Executive Medical Director, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
ABOS Values Diversity
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) believes that there is no place for bias or discrimination within the field of orthopaedic surgery or within our organization. That is one of the ABOS’ Guiding Principles. Last year the ABOS created a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to act and implement programs to encourage diversity within the ABOS and among our volunteers.
The ABOS believes that diversity starts at the top. Recognizing that there is progress to be made, we are acting and implementing programs to encourage diversity within our Board and our cadre of ABOS Volunteers, particularly with respect to race and gender. There is work to be done, but the ABOS is committed to recruiting a diverse group of outstanding surgeons and leaders to serve the Board and our Diplomates.
One of the first actions the ABOS DEI Task Force took was to create training videos on understanding bias for Oral Examiners. The ABOS worked with Goodstock Consulting, a nationally recognized DEI organization, to create a set of videos. These videos were designed exclusively for ABOS Oral Examiners to make every effort to deliver a fair Examination based solely on how well Examinees practice medicine. We want to make sure that Examinees are scored fairly while making Examiners aware of the possibility of unconscious bias. As the ABOS mission is to protect patients, we are making every effort to be sure that those who pass the Oral Examinations are practicing safe and effective medicine.
Since this was the first year Examiners viewed the videos on bias, we wanted to evaluate how the videos were received. Questions concerning the bias training were included in the post-examination survey. Three-fourths of Oral Examiners said the video series was either very helpful or somewhat helpful. A similar number said that we should either use the same set of videos for next year’s Oral Examiners or create a new video on bias. We heard many positive comments from Oral Examiners, some of whom have told us that all orthopaedic surgeons should watch the videos.
While the videos are the first step, they are not the last. The ABOS DEI Task Force is working on ways to ensure that the Computer Examinations are fair to all Examinees and that the ABOS continues to improve the diversity of the ABOS Volunteer group.
ABOS Selects Four Outstanding Residents for Advisory Panel
The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) has selected four outstanding orthopaedic surgery residents to participate as the second cohort of the ABOS Resident Advisory Panel. Many talented orthopaedic residents from across the country applied for two-year terms on the Panel.
The new members of the ABOS Resident Advisory Panel are:
- Steven Greene, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center
- Michelle Lawson, MD, Oregon Health & Science University
- Joseph Sliepka, MD, University of Washington
- Claire Isabelle Verret, MD, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
This cohort will join the first group of Advisory Panel members who were selected last year:
- Matthew Booth, MD, Washington University
- Erik Fritz, MD, University of Minnesota
- Alex Gu, MD, George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Madeline Lyons, MD, Loyola University Medical Center
The ABOS Resident Advisory Panel assists the ABOS by providing information that will be used to support orthopaedic residents across the country. They work with the ABOS Graduate Medical Education (GME) Committee and the ABOS Communications Committee. The goal is for the ABOS Resident Advisory Panel to identify and work on a project each year that will benefit orthopaedic residents across the country. The initial project involves communicating the details of the initiative that link Blueprints and results of the ABOS Part I Examination and the AAOS OITE.
All applicants submitted an application, curriculum vitae (CV), personal statement, and a letter of recommendation from their residency program director. These were reviewed by members of the ABOS Board of Directors who serve on the ABOS GME Committee. The ABOS looks forward to an outstanding and productive year working with these accomplished residents.