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Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter American College of Surgeons


Here you will find helpful information and FAQs on the Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter's annual Mock Oral Boards examination process to help our examiners and examinees better prepare for the annual event.


In 2008, the Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter held its first Mock Oral Board examination to help residents prepare for the Oral Board examination. The one-day, strenuous exercise was held in-person with Fellows and attendings from the Chapter's healthcare institutions serving as examiners. The success of this event, now in its 15th year, was evaluated in 2017 and found that the MPACS mock oral examinees had an 87.5% first-time success rate on the American Board of Surgery Certifying Exam (ABS CE) versus 76.8% for all examinees from the same included training programs (p <0.01). Passing the mock oral exam had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 89.5% for first-time success on the ABS CE. MPACS also found most examinees had not otherwise begun preparations for the boards. This data was presented at the 2017 American College of Surgeons and the 2018 Association for Surgical Education meetings (published in JACS).


The Resident & Associate Society of the ACS (RAS-ACS) developed a spotlight series to share engagement activities from ACS chapters. In this interview Madhuri Nagaraj, MD, MS, discusses MPACS Mock Oral Boards with Sanjay Reddy, MD, FACS. 

During the COVID restrictions, the MPACS Mock Oral Boards moved to an all-virtual format, expanding the reach for participation to residency programs outside the Center City Philadelphia area and continuing to prepare Residents for their examination. As COVID restrictions began to lift, the Mock Oral Board committee weighed the pros and cons of moving back to in-person examination and determined the mock oral boards would continue as a virtual examination process.

Examination Process: The examination includes three (3) thirty-minute sessions with two exams per session for a total of six (6) exams per examinee. Examiners are provided standardized questions based on all specialty areas in the surgical field. All aspects of the mock oral examination are aligned with the American Board of Surgery's certifying exam and the SCORE curriculum.

Scoring and Comments: Examiners score examinees on each exam question during the session for a total of six (6) scores. The six (6) scores are then totaled and averaged to provide the examinee a final examination score. Examiners also provide comments to the examinees on their performance during the exam and provide helpful tips and areas that need additional study to be better prepared for the oral examination. To be equitable and fair to all examinees, examinees are not examined by a member of their own training institution.

Results: Score sheets are submitted to a proctor electronically and tallied for each examinee. The examinee and his/her program director receive a report with a pass/fail status and recommended comments suggestions provided anonymously by the examiners.

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