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How Well Do We Teach Obstetric Anesthesia To Our Residents? An Analysis of ABA ITE Results
Abstract Number: S-67
Abstract Type: Original Research
Introduction: All academic obstetric anesthesiologists have established teaching curricula for residents and fellows. However, while similar topics are likely covered, specific curricula vary depending on institution. We currently lack feedback on how well we prepare trainees for the American Board of Anesthesiologists (ABA) certification examinations as no specialty-specific performance metrics are reported to residency programs. Using the annual In-Training Examination (ITE) results from 2013-2015, we tested the hypothesis that U.S. residency programs provide satisfactory teaching in the area of obstetric anesthesia, as demonstrated by strong performance on the ABA ITE.
Methods: When the ITE scores are released to residency programs each year, they are accompanied by a “Program Summary of Residents’ Item Performance” that shows national results on each question item, as well as the program’s individual results by CA level (i.e., CB, CA-1, CA-2 and CA-3). We examined 3 years of ITE item performance results from 2013-2015, within the subspecialty category of obstetric anesthesia as well as items we judged to be obstetric anesthesia-related from other categories such as Pharmacology and Anatomy. Items were ranked by the percent of CA-3’s nationally who answered the question correctly. A score > 70% was considered adequate performance on that question.
Results: U.S. residents had adequate performance (i.e., >70% answered correctly) on 70% of the obstetric anesthesia-related questions. See Table 1 for specific question items and the percent correct for each of these items on the ITE. Obstetric anesthesia topics are well-represented on the exams as compared to other subspecialty areas. The number of ITE questions designated as “obstetric anesthesia” compared to other subspecialty areas are shown in Table 2.
Conclusions: This is a first attempt to elucidate the areas in obstetric anesthesia that are tested on national certification examinations. It appears that U.S. anesthesiology residency programs prepare residents well for correctly answering questions related to obstetric anesthesia. Obstetric anesthesiologists who practice in an academic setting and teach residents and fellows should approach the Anesthesiology Core Program Director for the results specific to their residency program, and tailor their teaching efforts to areas where their residents performed below the national average.