Use of the Surgical Council on Resident Education (SCORE) curriculum as a template for evaluating and planning a program’s clinical curriculum.

Fryer J, Corcoran N, DaRosa D.  J Surg Educ. 2010 Jan-Feb



The SCORE curriculum defines surgical operations/procedures that residents are expected to be competent with by the end of the residency.


The purpose of this study was to conduct a gap analysis to determine how well the operative experience in a general surgery residency program approximates the expectations of the SCORE curriculum, especially regarding those procedures considered essential to general surgicaltraining.


Final ACGME resident operative experience reports of recent Northwestern University general surgery program graduates (n = 15) were compared with the specific procedures and procedure levels (ie, Essential-Common, Essential-Uncommon, Complex) defined in the SCORE curriculum. The average numbers of individual SCORE procedures and procedures per SCORE procedure level performed perresident were summarized using descriptive statistics.


During their 5 years of training general surgery residents logged a mean of 1025.7 (SD 152.9) primary procedures per resident. We were able to match 87.1% of these ACGME logged procedures with specific procedures identified in the SCORE curriculum. On average, of the Essential-common procedures, 23 (35%) were performed >10 times and 35 (53%) were performed >five times. Conversely, the number of Essential-uncommon and Complex procedures performed >five times were 3 (5%) and 10 (7%), respectively. Several procedures identified in the SCORE curriculum were performed at very low frequency during residency training.


This experience suggests that leadership at SCORE and the ACGME need to make the curriculum and logging system compatible and that surgical residents need to be better educated with regards to case logging. Despite these issues, important differences appeared to exist between actual resident operative experiences and expectations set by the SCORE curriculum. Based on these finding we advocate that similar gap analyses be performed at other surgical residency training programs to identify discrepancies between program experience and SCORE curriculum expectations.

PMID: 20420192