Effect of the BASIC Examination on Knowledge Acquisition during Anesthesiology Residency

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Background:The American Board of Anesthesiology recently introduced the BASIC Examination, a component of its new staged examinations for primary certification, typically offered to residents at the end of their first year of clinical anesthesiology training. This analysis tested the hypothesis that the introduction of the BASIC Examination was associated with an acceleration of knowledge acquisition during the residency training period, as measured by increments in annual In-Training Examination scores.Methods:In-Training Examination performance was compared longitudinally among four resident cohorts (n = 6,488) before and after the introduction of the staged system using mixed-effects models that accounted for possible covariates.Results:Compared with previous cohorts in the traditional examination system, the first resident cohort in the staged system had a greater improvement in In-Training Examination scores between the first and second years of clinical anesthesiology training (by an estimated 2.0 points in scaled score on a scale of 1 to 50 [95% CI, 1.7 to 2.3]). By their second year, they had achieved a score similar to that of third-year clinical anesthesiology residents in previous cohorts. The second cohort to enter the staged system had a greater improvement of the scores between the clinical base year and the first clinical anesthesiology year, compared with the previous cohorts.Conclusions:These results support the hypothesis that the introduction of the BASIC Examination is associated with accelerated knowledge acquisition in residency training and provides evidence for the value of the new staged system in promoting desired educational outcomes of anesthesiology training.

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