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A retrospective cohort study of differential attainment, COVID and chaos: taking the difference out of a terrible trinity

James, O.P., Mellor, K., Luton, O., Robinson, D.B.T., Walsh, L., Hemington-Gorse, S., Egan, R.J. and Lewis, W.G. 2023. A retrospective cohort study of differential attainment, COVID and chaos: taking the difference out of a terrible trinity. International Journal of Surgery 109 (8) , pp. 2359-2364. 10.1097/JS9.0000000000000488

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Background: This study aimed to evaluate core surgical training (CST) differential attainment related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), gender and ethnicity. The hypothesis was that COVID-19 adversely influenced CST outcomes. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 271 anonymised CST records was undertaken at a UK Statutory Education Body. Primary effect measures were Annual Review of Competency Progression Outcome (ARCPO), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) examination pass and Higher Surgical Training National Training Number (NTN) appointment. Data were collected prospectively at ARCP and analysed with non-parametric statistical methods in SPSS. Results: CSTs numbering 138 completed training pre-COVID and 133 peri-COVID. ARCPO 1, 2 and 6 were 71.9% pre-COVID versus 74.4% peri-COVID (P = 0.844). MRCS pass rates were 69.6% pre-COVID versus 71.1% peri-COVID (P = 0.968), but NTN appointment rates diminished (pre-COVID 47.4% vs. peri-COVID 36.9%, P = 0.324); none of the above varied by gender or ethnicity. Multivariable analyses by three models revealed: ARCPO was associated with gender [m:f 1:0.87, odds ratio (OR) 0.53, P = 0.043] and CST theme (Plastics vs. General OR 16.82, P = 0.007); MRCS pass with theme (Plastics vs. General OR 8.97, P = 0.004); NTN with the Improving Surgical Training run-through programme (OR 5.00, P < 0.001). Programme retention improved peri-COVID (OR 0.20, P = 0.014) with pan University Hospital rotations performing better than Mixed or District General-only rotations (OR 6.63, P = 0.018). Conclusion: Differential attainment profiles varied 17-fold, yet COVID-19 did not influence ARCPO or MRCS pass rates. NTN appointment fell by one-fifth peri-COVID, but overall training outcome metrics remained robust despite the existential threat.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RD Surgery
Publisher: Wolters Kluwer
ISSN: 1743-9191
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 January 2024
Date of Acceptance: 10 May 2024
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2024 12:00

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