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World Neurosurg. 2018 Feb;110:475-484.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.11.078. Epub 2017 Nov 23.

Predicting Resident Performance from Preresidency Factors: A Systematic Review and Applicability to Neurosurgical Training.

Author information

1
Department of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Electronic address: scott.zuckerman@vanderbilt.edu.
2
Department of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
3
University of the Philippines College of Medicine, Philippine General Hospital, Manila, Philippines.
4
NorthBay Center for Neuroscience, Fairfield, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Neurosurgical educators strive to identify the best applicants, yet formal study of resident selection has proved difficult. We conducted a systematic review to answer the following question: What objective and subjective preresidency factors predict resident success?

METHODS:

PubMed, ProQuest, Embase, and the CINAHL databases were queried from 1952 to 2015 for literature reporting the impact of preresidency factors (PRFs) on outcomes of residency success (RS), among neurosurgery and all surgical subspecialties. Due to heterogeneity of specialties and outcomes, a qualitative summary and heat map of significant findings were constructed.

RESULTS:

From 1489 studies, 21 articles met inclusion criteria, which evaluated 1276 resident applicants across five surgical subspecialties. No neurosurgical studies met the inclusion criteria. Common objective PRFs included standardized testing (76%), medical school performance (48%), and Alpha Omega Alpha (43%). Common subjective PRFs included aggregate rank scores (57%), letters of recommendation (38%), research (33%), interviews (19%), and athletic or musical talent (19%). Outcomes of RS included faculty evaluations, in-training/board exams, chief resident status, and research productivity. Among objective factors, standardized test scores correlated well with in-training/board examinations but poorly correlated with faculty evaluations. Among subjective factors, aggregate rank scores, letters of recommendation, and athletic or musical talent demonstrated moderate correlation with faculty evaluations.

CONCLUSION:

Standardized testing most strongly correlated with future examination performance but correlated poorly with faculty evaluations. Moderate predictors of faculty evaluations were aggregate rank scores, letters of recommendation, and athletic or musical talent. The ability to predict success of neurosurgical residents using an evidence-based approach is limited, and few factors have correlated with future resident performance. Given the importance of recruitment to the greater field of neurosurgery, these data provide support for a national, prospective effort to improve the study of neurosurgery resident selection.

KEYWORDS:

Attrition; Education; Neurosurgery residency; Recruitment; Resident success

PMID:
29174240
DOI:
10.1016/j.wneu.2017.11.078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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