Correlation Between Neurosurgical Residency Written Board Scores and Case Logs

Ben G. McGahan, Jeffrey Hatef, David Gibbs, Jeffrey Leonard, Joseph Menousek, William E. Thorell, Ciarán J. Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: There are few objective measures for evaluating individual performance throughout surgical residency. Two commonly used objective measures are the case log numbers and written board examination scores. The objective of this study was to investigate possible correlations between these measures. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) written board scores and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education case logs of 27 recent alumni from neurologic surgery residency training programs at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Results: The number of spine cases logged was significantly correlated with the ABNS written examination performance in univariate linear regression (r2 = 0.182, P = 0.0265). However, case numbers from all other neurosurgical subspecialties did not significantly correlate with ABNS written board performance (P > 0.1). Conclusions: Identifying which objective measures correlate most closely with resident education could help optimize the structure of residency training programs. We believe that early exposure to focused aspects of neurosurgery helps the young resident learn quickly and efficiently and ultimately score highly on standardized examinations. Therefore program directors may want to ensure focused exposure during the early years of residency, with particular attention to worthwhile rotations in spine neurosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e236-e239
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
  • American Board of Neurological Surgery
  • Board scores
  • Case logs
  • Residency education
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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