De Virgilio, the director of the general surgery residency program at Harbor-UCLA, notes that an anomaly in the researchers' findings is that students who received an "honor" recognition during their six to 12-week surgical clerkship were more likely to need remediation than students who did not receive that honor.
"That's counterintuitive," de Virgilio says, and may point to the need to re-evaluate the measures used to determine who such recognition. Also predictive of a student having to adhere to a remediation regimen was a relatively low score in the US Medical Licensing Examination, Step 1.
The fact that 31% of surgical residents needed additional help, however, puts a burden on these academic medical institutions.
The report looked at surgical resident training between 1999 and 2010 at Harbor-UCLA, the University of California Davis Medical Center, Loma Linda University, Stanford University, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and the University of California Irvine Medical Center
The researchers wrote that the rate of remediation is of concern because it is several percentage points higher than similar studies of this type.