Implementation of the Vascular Surgery Board Virtual Certifying Examination. Journal of vascular surgery Huber, T. S., Brown, K. R., Lee, J. T., Barry, C. L., Ibanez, B., Jones, A. T., Perler, B. A., Upchurch, G. R. 2022


COVID mandated postponement of the in-person Vascular Surgery Board 2020 certifying examination (CE). Vascular Surgery Virtual CEs (VVCEs) were developed for the scheduled 2020 (rescheduled 1/21) and 2021 (rescheduled 7/21) CEs to avoid postponing the certification testing. This study reports the development, implementation and outcome of the first two VVCEs.The VVCE was similar to the in-person format (3 - 30 min sessions, 2 examiners, 4 questions), but required a proctor and host. In contrast to the general surgery VCEs, VVCE also incorporated images. Candidates and examiners were instructed on the format, and technology checks were performed prior to the VVCE. Candidates were given the opportunity to invalidate their exam for technology-related reasons immediately post-examination. Post-examination surveys were administered to all participants.The VVCEs were completed by 99.7% (356/357) of the candidates. The pass rates for the 1/21 and 7/21 exams were 97.6% (first time - 99.4%, retake - 70%) and 94.7% (first time - 94.6%, retake - 100%), respectively, and were not significantly different from the 2019 in-person CE (?2 = 2.30, p = 0.13 and ?2 = 0.01, p = 0.91, from the 1/21 and 7/21 exams, respectively). No candidates invalidated their exams. The candidates (162/356 - 46%), examiners (64/118 - 54%), proctors (25/27 - 93%), and hosts (8/9 - 89%) completing the survey were very satisfied with the exam (Likert score 4 or 5: candidates - 92.6% vs non-candidates - 96.9%) , and found the technology domains (Zoom, audio, video, viewing images) to be very good (Likert scores 4 or 5) with candidates and other responders scores of 73 - 84% and > 94%, respectively. Significantly more candidates favored a future VVCE compared to examiners (87% vs 32%, ?2 =67.1, p < .001). Free text responses from all responders commented favorably on the organization and implementation of the exam, but some candidates expressed concerns about image sizes, while some examiners expressed concern about time constraints of the question format. Candidates appreciated the convenience of an at-home exam, especially avoiding travel costs.The two Vascular Surgery Board virtual certifying examinations were psychometrically sound and overwhelmingly successful, demonstrating that imaged-based virtual examinations are feasible and may be the standard for the future.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jvs.2022.06.022

View details for PubMedID 35760241