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Test Scores

October 24, 2021
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

Test scores have arrived and the news is good. Ninety-seven percent of last year's graduates passed the Boards—not perfect, but close—and 76% of this year’s residents topped the 50th percentile on the In-Training Exam. The latter statistic is especially impressive when you consider most PGY3s were excused after scoring high last year. This year, four residents hit the 100th percentile- a program record.

Unlike the Boards, the ITE is low stakes; its sole purpose is feedback. In the next few days, ITE-takers will get detailed reports, subdivided by topic, to allow targeted studying.

Study options abound. First, you should read about your patients’ illnesses, even areas you think you’ve mastered; there’s always more to learn. Great resources include UpToDate,* YOBM, and review articles. Second, absorb as much as you can from teaching rounds and ambulatory academic half-days. Third, attend Noon Report and tune into afternoon didactics, either live or recorded. Fourth, use online resources, such as NEJM Journal Watch and Rotation Prep, and podcasts such as The Curbsiders. Finally, purchase MKSAP or some equivalent if you haven’t done so yet. MKSAP covers all topics tested on the ITE and Boards, and the practice questions are great. If you complete MKSAP, you’re good to go.

Most of you will be pleased with your ITE score, but not all. If you scored on the lower end, your APD will reach out to discuss study strategies, which may include consulting with Dr. Jack Contessa, a test-taking expert in the GME office. Each of you can ace these tests once you commit to a study plan.

While there’s more to being a doctor than passing multiple choice tests, these tests are important because they measure medical knowledge. It’s wonderful that we do so well, and for that we thank our marvelous faculty and residents, who devote themselves to studying. Studying allows us to thrive as physicians and give expert care to our patients. Clearly, we’re meeting this mission.

Well done, everyone.


PS Interviews start this Tuesday with our first 40 visitors. Thanks to everyone who’s signed up for pre-interview dinners and to the many faculty and fellows who have volunteered to interview.** Please reach out to the applicants “visiting” this week and give them a warm Yale welcome! I’ll be hiking up East Rock this morning before sitting down to read 40 personal statements.


*Full disclosure- I’ve written ARDS reviews for UpToDate for over 20 years.

**If you’d like to interview but haven’t joined the intern selection committee yet, please reach out to Brett Marks to sign up.

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on October 24, 2021