Feasibility and efficacy of gamification in general surgery residency: Preliminary outcomes of residency teams

John C. McAuliffe, Robert H. McAuliffe, Gustavo Romero-Velez, Mindy Statter, W. Scott Melvin, Peter Muscarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Comprehensive studies evaluating the efficacy of team-based competition (“Gamification”) in surgery have not been performed. Board pass rates and resident satisfaction may improve if surgical residents are involved in competition. Methods: Residents at Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, New York) were surveyed and separated into teams during a draft. Each resident's performance was converted into a point system. Resident scores were combined into a team score and presented as a leaderboard. Awards were given. ABSITE, ACGME residency satisfaction, and ABS qualifying exam pass rates were compared. Results: Sixty percent of residents are inspired to improve their performance during gamification. ABSITE average percentile score improved from 28 to 43. ABS qualifying exam pass rates improved from 73% to 100%. Resident satisfaction improved from 65% to 88%. The point system allowed for establishing “growth curves” for each resident enabling enhanced assessment of residents. Conclusions: A comprehensive team-based competition inspires performance, is feasible, and seems to improve ABSITE scores, ABS pass rates, and satisfaction while being a tool for assessment of performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Assessment
  • Gamification
  • Residency
  • Surgery
  • Teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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