Usage of a Web-based educational tool will improve residents' scores on the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE).
Before and after trial.
Academic surgical residency in a tertiary care university hospital.
Nineteen postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) and PGY2 residents.
All PGY1 and PGY2 residents were given unlimited access to a Web-based educational tool aimed at early-level residents in surgery. The educational tool covers the basic science of surgery and basic concepts of clinical surgery and uses a variety of educational techniques (readings, problem-based learning, case-based learning, and practice tests). Although residents were encouraged to complete the learning package, they were not required to do so.
Main Outcome Measures
The ABSITE scores and changes in ABSITE scores were compared with the amount of time residents spent using the program and the number of tutorials completed.
There was no significant difference in ABSITE scores before or after the use of the Web-based educational tool. There was no significant relationship between use of the tool (either in total time or total tutorials) and ABSITE score. For PGY2 residents, there was a negative relationship between total time spent on the program and ABSITE score (linear regression analysis best-fit slope, −0.20 ± 0.1; r2 = 0.33) and total tutorials completed and ABSITE score (linear regression analysis best-fit slope, −0.34 ± 0.22; r2 = 0.25).
There was no demonstrable beneficial effect of a Web-based educational tool on cognitive knowledge of residents as measured by ABSITE scores.