Correspondence  |   December 2018
In-training Exams, Performance, and Exam Fatigue
Author Notes
Article Information
Correspondence
Correspondence   |   December 2018
In-training Exams, Performance, and Exam Fatigue
Anesthesiology 12 2018, Vol.129, 1189. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002460
Anesthesiology 12 2018, Vol.129, 1189. doi:10.1097/ALN.0000000000002460
I read with great interest Dr. Zhou et al.’s article regarding the effect of instituting the BASIC examination on anesthesiology knowledge acquisition.1  The authors should be commended for their hard work and dedication to educating future leaders of our specialty.
As a recent graduate of anesthesiology residency in a large tertiary academic medical center, and as a member of the second class to take the American Board of Anesthesiology BASIC examination, my perspective on the examination differs somewhat from that of its developers. Scores on the in-training examination have been shown to correlate poorly with clinical performance in a variety of medical specialties and practice environments,2–4  and therefore a statistically significant increase in these scores may not translate into any real clinical improvement. In addition, the advent of frequent standardized testing is a likely factor of the burnout epidemic among anesthesiology trainees. I was not immune to this phenomenon, and personally experienced intense periods of detachment and depersonalization during my residency as a result of exam fatigue. This problem is only likely to worsen with the rollout of the new American Board of Anesthesiology Applied examination, which includes an Objective Structured Clinical Exam component in addition to the Standardized Oral Examination exam.