2018 TSDA In-Training Exam

2018 In-Training Exam for Cardiothoracic Surgery Residents
March 10, 2018
March 17, 2018 (back up date)

The ITE will be given on Saturday, March 10 with a backup exam date of Saturday, March 17. Back up date arrangements must be pre-approved by TSDA Headquarters. Registration is now closed. Please read the General Information Sheet  for additional information about the exam. (Click here for information about the 2018 Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellow In-Training Exam.)

The ITE is designed to assess the knowledge of current residents in cardiothoracic surgery. Subject matter will be equally divided between general thoracic and cardiac surgery. The secure exam will be available online, and individual comprehensive results will be sent to Program Directors eight to ten weeks after the backup exam date. Click here for study tips examinees are encouraged to utilize as they prepare for the ITE.

On exam day, the ITE must be launched between the following U.S. and Canadian Time Zones:

  • 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time;
  • 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time;
  • 6:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time; or
  • 5:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Once the exam has been launched, test takers will have five hours to complete the exam; however, it is the proctor’s responsibility to enforce a time limit if one has been established by the Program Director. The ITE must be administered and taken at the program training site, and must be actively proctored; access from a remote site will disqualify the examinee.

Please read the General Information Sheet for additional information.

Registration for the 2018 ITE is now closed. The fee for the 2018 ITE is $350 per test taker in U.S. and Canada, and $500 per test taker outside the U.S. and Canada. Programs are required to register cardiothoracic surgery residents, and are also welcome to register general surgery residents. TSDA does not accept credit card payment or purchase orders. The fee must be paid in U.S. funds prior to the exam date and is not refundable. The registration deadline was Friday, February 2, 2018. An online ITE Registration Form must be submitted and a Letter of Agreement  must have been completed and returned to TSDA Headquarters no later than end of business on Friday, February 2, 2018. Invoices will be sent to programs upon request only.

Proctor and Test-Taker Records
Through the American Board of Surgery (ABS), TSDA will be utilizing Internet Testing Systems (ITS) to administer the exam. ITS will create a record in the Program Workshop  for each program that registers test takers for the ITE. ITS will also create a record for each Program Coordinator or other contact person listed on the ITE Registration Form. The Program Coordinator or other main contact will be responsible for pre-exam readiness activities. Additional information and instructions about these important steps will be sent to Program Directors, Program Coordinators, and exam proctors prior to the exam date.

Performance Reports/Comparative Results
After completing the ITE, residents will receive immediate feedback on their performance consisting of their raw score. Comparative results will be available to Program Directors eight to ten weeks following the back-up exam date of March 17. Percentile ranks will relate the performance of all examinees, and residents in the same residency year. Exam results will be withheld from a program until full payment is received by TSDA.

Minimum System Requirements for Online Testing – Update for 2018
Through the American Board of Surgery, the TSDA will be utilizing Internet Testing Systems (ITS) to administer the 2018 ITE on March 10 and March 17. It is the responsibility of the Program Director, Program Coordinator and/or proctor to ensure their institution’s operating system will function properly on exam day. The Program Director, Program Coordinator and/or proctor should review the Minimum System Requirements for Online Testing , share with their institution’s IT administrator, and ensure that all of the necessary equipment, Internet, firewall and other requirements are met. Visit absite.programworkshop.com to view Frequently Asked Questions. (Log in is not required to view the FAQ page.) The Program Director, Program Coordinator and/or proctor is responsible for running a System Check to ensure operating systems are compatible. Additional information about the System Check will be sent under separate cover.

Pre-and Post-ITE Residents Surveys
Residents enrolled in ACGME-accredited programs registered for the ITE are asked to complete the Pre-ITE Residents Survey by March 7, 2018. Residents will be sent an e-mail invitation to complete the survey. Program Directors and Program Coordinators will be copied on reminder messages sent to residents who have not completed the survey leading up to the exam day. Canadian and other international residents are not required to complete the Pre-ITE Residents Survey. All examinees will also be invited to participate in a post-exam survey.

Exam Format
The ITE will consist of 164 questions equally divided between general thoracic and cardiac surgery. The ITE is offered only as a computer-based exam at the program site, and is to be completed within a 5-hour period once the test is launched (at the Program Director’s discretion). Examination questions are provided in random order for each examinee. The 2018 TSDA ITE Committee has decided that it will test on the most recent cancer staging system, reflected in the AJCC/UICC Eighth Edition Lung Cancer Classification.

Backup Date
The backup exam on March 17, 2018 is for those who experience significant technical difficulties the day of the exam or by pre-arrangement through the TSDA Headquarters.

Technical Support Any questions regarding system functionality should be directed to ITS Technical Support group at 800-514-8494 (443-573-8399 for Canadian and international programs) or ABSsupport@testsys.com. Technical Support is available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET, and during Saturday testing administrations from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET.

Contact TSDA Headquarters with any questions.
Beth Winer, Executive Director, bwiner@tsda.org, 312-202-5855
Rachel Pebworth, Affiliate Manager, rpebworth@sts.org, 312-202-5835

2018 ITE Materials

General Information Sheet
2018 TSDA ITE Letter of Agreement
Minimum System Requirements

Thank you to TSDA’s 2018 In-Training Exam Committee
Ara Vaporciyan, MD, Chair

Cardiac Subcommittee  General Thoracic Subcommittee 
Howard Song, MD, Chair Tom Varghese, MD, Chair
Shahab Akhter, MD Andrew Arndt, MD
Georgio Aru, MD Stephen Broderick, MD
Emmanuel Daon, MD David Cooke, MD
Kendra Grubb, MD Cherie Erkmen, MD
Ravi Ghanta, MD Julian Guitron, MD
Eric Griffiths, MD Sebron Harrison, MD
S. Adil Husain, MD Tony Kim, MD
Brent Keeling, MD Ryan Macke, MD
Bradley Leshnower, MD Chris Scott, MD
Nahush Mokadam, MD Simon Turner, MD
Jay Pal, MD
Brett Reece, MD
Ram Subramanyan, MD
Hiroo Takayama, MD