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


New Approaches to Educating Surgeons of the Present and Future: Determine the Decision-Making Skills of New Residents with ACS ERRA

Uncertainties regarding the preparedness of entering residents are increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic; hence, it will be more important than ever that training programs identify gaps. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Education has developed the ACS Entering Resident Readiness Assessment (ACS ERRA)—an online, case-based program that measures the clinical decision-making skills of entering surgical residents for cases frequently encountered at the beginning of residency. Now in its third year, this innovative assessment provides surgery program directors and residents with psychometrically rigorous measures of key decision-making skills needed to safely assume new clinical responsibilities.

The case scenarios address 20 clinical topics through special “key features” questions that specifically assess clinical decision-making skills, rather than simple recall of factual knowledge. The results of this formative assessment provide the percent correct in each topic area for the individual residents, for the program as a whole, and in aggregate form for comparison with other participating programs. Results can be used to identify strengths and highlight areas for reinforcement using learning plans and associated resources.

Participating programs will be asked to identify a time between June 15 and July 10 to administer the assessment. Enrolled residents will need to be excused from clinical duties for about three hours and can complete the assessment at the same time as one group, or individually at different times, as long as they have access to computers with an Internet connection in a proctored environment. The fee per resident is $105.

For additional information, visit ACS ERRA or e-mail The enrollment deadline has been extended to June 5, 2020.