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J Surg Educ ; 79(6): e69-e75, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2069411


OBJECTIVE: With new rules regarding social distancing and non-essential travel bans, we sought to determine if faculty scoring of general surgery applicants would differ between the in-person interview (IPI) and virtual interview (VI) platforms. DESIGN: A single institution, retrospective review comparing faculty evaluation scores of applicant interviewees in the 2019 and 2020 MATCH® application cycles (IPIs) and the 2021 and 2022 application cycle (VIs) was conducted. Faculty scored applicants using a 5-point Likert scale in 7 areas of assessment and assigned each student to 1 of 4 tiers (tier 1 highest). A composite score for the 7 assessments (maximum score 35) was calculated. Mean and composite scores and tiers were compared between VI and IPI cycles and adjusted for within-interviewer correlations. The variance of the 2 groups were also compared. SETTING: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, an academic, tertiary care hospital. PARTICIPANTS: General Surgery applicants for the 2019 to 2022 MATCH® application cycles. RESULTS: Four hundred forty-one faculty IPI ratings of General Surgery applicants were compared to 531VI ratings. No difference in mean composite scores, individual assessments, or tier ranking. Less variance was identified in the VI group for academic credentials (0.6 vs 0.6, p = 0.01), strength of letters (0.7 vs 0.4, p = 0.005), communication skills (0.4 vs 0.6, p = 0.01), personal qualities (0.2 vs 0.5, p = 0.02), overall sense of fit for program (0.6 vs 0.9, p = 0.01), and tier ranking (0.3 vs 0.4, p = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Faculty ratings of General Surgery applicants in the VI format appear to be similar to IPI. However, faculty ratings of VI applicants demonstrated less variability in scores in most assessments. This finding is potentially concerning, as it may suggest an inability of VI to detect subtle differences between applicants as comparted to IPI.

General Surgery , Internship and Residency , Humans , Faculty , Retrospective Studies , General Surgery/education
N Engl J Med ; 383(20): 1907-1919, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-920642


BACKGROUND: Antibiotic therapy has been proposed as an alternative to surgery for the treatment of appendicitis. METHODS: We conducted a pragmatic, nonblinded, noninferiority, randomized trial comparing antibiotic therapy (10-day course) with appendectomy in patients with appendicitis at 25 U.S. centers. The primary outcome was 30-day health status, as assessed with the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire (scores range from 0 to 1, with higher scores indicating better health status; noninferiority margin, 0.05 points). Secondary outcomes included appendectomy in the antibiotics group and complications through 90 days; analyses were prespecified in subgroups defined according to the presence or absence of an appendicolith. RESULTS: In total, 1552 adults (414 with an appendicolith) underwent randomization; 776 were assigned to receive antibiotics (47% of whom were not hospitalized for the index treatment) and 776 to undergo appendectomy (96% of whom underwent a laparoscopic procedure). Antibiotics were noninferior to appendectomy on the basis of 30-day EQ-5D scores (mean difference, 0.01 points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.001 to 0.03). In the antibiotics group, 29% had undergone appendectomy by 90 days, including 41% of those with an appendicolith and 25% of those without an appendicolith. Complications were more common in the antibiotics group than in the appendectomy group (8.1 vs. 3.5 per 100 participants; rate ratio, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.30 to 3.98); the higher rate in the antibiotics group could be attributed to those with an appendicolith (20.2 vs. 3.6 per 100 participants; rate ratio, 5.69; 95% CI, 2.11 to 15.38) and not to those without an appendicolith (3.7 vs. 3.5 per 100 participants; rate ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.45 to 2.43). The rate of serious adverse events was 4.0 per 100 participants in the antibiotics group and 3.0 per 100 participants in the appendectomy group (rate ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.67 to 2.50). CONCLUSIONS: For the treatment of appendicitis, antibiotics were noninferior to appendectomy on the basis of results of a standard health-status measure. In the antibiotics group, nearly 3 in 10 participants had undergone appendectomy by 90 days. Participants with an appendicolith were at a higher risk for appendectomy and for complications than those without an appendicolith. (Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; CODA number, NCT02800785.).

Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Appendectomy , Appendicitis/drug therapy , Appendicitis/surgery , Appendix/surgery , Absenteeism , Administration, Intravenous , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Appendectomy/statistics & numerical data , Appendicitis/complications , Appendix/pathology , Fecal Impaction , Female , Health Status , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Laparoscopy , Male , Middle Aged , Postoperative Complications/epidemiology , Quality of Life , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome