American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Assessment Description

The American College of Surgeons Entering Resident Readiness Assessment (ACS ERRA) is a psychometrically rigorous, formative assessment of PGY-1 resident preparedness, focusing on 20 clinical topics that incoming surgical residents are likely to encounter. Over the past several years, the ACS Division of Education has methodically defined a validated domain of cases and recruited expert faculty to develop the assessment. Residents will respond to 40 short clinical cases, each followed by questions that specifically assess key clinical decisions. As a formative tool, the ACS ERRA is intended to assess residents' current decision making at the time they enter surgical residency. The ACS ERRA is not intended to measure fact and procedure memory and recall for use as a summative assessment.

Response formats include short, write-in answers (for example, listing possible diagnoses) or the selection of options from menus containing possible next steps in the investigation or management of the problem. The specially designed questions use the internationally proven “key features” approach as established by Georges Bordage, MD, MSc, PhD, and Gordon Page, MA, EdD, in which the case scenarios require medical knowledge to be applied appropriately at critical decision points during management of the case. Key features may include essential steps required to resolve a problem, a particularly challenging aspect in the identification and management of the problem, or actions most likely associated with errors in practice. Because not all steps in the management of patient problems are equally important, assessment time is best spent by focusing exclusively on the most challenging aspects that will distinguish appropriate performance.

For more information, e-mail acserra@facs.org or call 312-202-5127.