Publication Date



The Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine


BACKGROUND: Correlation has been found between the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 examination results and anesthesiology resident success on American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) examinations. In 2014, the ABA instituted the BASIC examination at the end of the postgraduate year-2 year. We hypothesized a similar predictive value of USMLE scores on BASIC examination success.

METHODS: After the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects at UTHealth Institutional Review Board approved and waived written consent, we retrospectively evaluated USMLE Step examination performance on first-time BASIC examination success in a single academic department from 2014-2018.

RESULTS: Over 5 years, 120 residents took the ABA BASIC examination and 108 (90%) passed on the first attempt. Ten of 12 first-time failures were successful on repeat examination but analyzed in the failure group. Complete data was available for 92 residents (76.7%), with absent scores primarily reflecting osteopathic graduates who completed Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States level examinations rather than USMLE. In the failure cohort, all 3 USMLE examination step scores were lower (

CONCLUSIONS: In anesthesiology residency training, our preliminary single-center data is the first to suggest that USMLE Step 1 performance could be used as a predictor of success on the recently introduced ABA BASIC Examination. These findings do not support recent action to change USMLE scoring to a pass/fail report.


ABA BASIC exam, USMLE Step 1, anesthesiology residency recruitment



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