Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Surg Educ. 2017 Oct 30. pii: S1931-7204(17)30296-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.025. [Epub ahead of print]

Beyond 250: A Comprehensive Strategy to Maximize the Operative Experience for Junior Residents.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:
Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.



Among surgical educators, duty-hour restrictions led to concern regarding the adequacy of operative experience during residency, especially for junior residents. The American Board of Surgery recently instituted guidelines mandating "a minimum of 250 operations by the end of the PGY-2 year". A series of programmatic and institutional changes were implemented at our institution to augment the junior resident operative experience and to exceed compliance with this mandate.


Operative data from Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs for categorical and nondesignated preliminary interns from our large academic surgical residency were identified for 5 consecutive academic years, 2011 until 2016. American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE) scores were collected anonymously. The program systematically instituted the following changes: night float minimization, identification of new surgical opportunities, augmenting use of midlevel care providers, identification of rotations with suboptimal operative experiences, maximizing rotations with involvement of junior residents in the operating room, and systematic review of junior case logs.


After implementation, average total cases for residents completing postgraduate year (PGY)-2 increased from 176 to 330 (p < 0.001). Specifically, there was an 18% increase for interns (p = 0.059) and a 118% increase for PGY-2 residents (p < 0.001). There were statistically significant increases in skin and soft tissue cases, vascular cases, endoscopy, and complex laparoscopic cases. Average case volumes for senior residents did not change. Night float time was significantly decreased (5.7 vs 3.4 wk; p = 0.04). ABSITE scores were not significantly changed during this time.


Before implementation of these interventions, our program would have had 0% compliance with the 250 junior resident case rule. Within 12 months of implementation, total case volumes for residents completing PGY-2 increased by 88%-exceeding minimum standards. Overall, 100% programmatic compliance was achieved. Our program's experience exemplifies how mandates from the American Board of Surgery can lead to programmatic changes that improve the experience of surgical house officers.


Medical Knowledge; Practice-Based Learning; Systems-Based Practice; duty hours; operative experience; resident education; surgical training

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center