HSC Education Days


The Conundrum of the Struggling Resident: Designing a Curriculum for Successfully Passing a High Stakes Exam

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One of the biggest challenges for a program director is the adult learner who struggles with standardized testing and therefore, although they may be an excellent clinician, cannot advance in residency or become board certified. During anesthesiology residency, all residents take a standardized exam (The Basic Exam) during their second year which 15% of all residents fail and passing is required to continue to advance in residency – quite a conundrum. We developed a standardized curriculum for residents who failed their Basic Exam which involved weekly “teach back” sessions with identified faculty members focusing on missed keywords. The strategies employed in these sessions increase learner engagement, active learning techniques, and leaner centered teaching to take previous knowledge (leading to a failed exam) and changing the way they approach the material to increase the success of passing their high-stakes exam.

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