2019 TSDA In-Training Exam

2019 In-Training Exam for Cardiothoracic Surgery Residents
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Saturday, March 23, 2019 (backup date)

Registration for the 2019 TSDA In-Training Exam (ITE) for cardiothoracic surgery residents is now open. The ITE will be given on Saturday, March 16 with a backup exam date of Saturday, March 23. Back up date arrangements must be pre-approved by TSDA Headquarters. Please read the General Information Sheet for additional information about the exam. (Click here for information about the 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.

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.

The fee for the 2019 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 is Friday, February 1, 2019. An online ITE Registration Form must be submitted and a Letter of Agreement must be completed and returned to TSDA Headquarters no later than end of business on Friday, February 1, 2019. Invoices for exam registration fees will be created and sent to Program Coordinators via email. Please allow up to 10 business days from the registration form submission date to receive an ITE invoice.

Programs are required to complete an online registration form for the 2019 TSDA In-Training Exam.

Instructions for the online forms:

  • TSDA recommends each program’s information be entered into the online registration form in one sitting.
  • Programs will not be able to access their online registration form after it has been submitted.
  • If a change needs to be made to a program’s online registration form after submission, please send a detailed message via email to Rachel Pebworth at rpebworth@sts.org.
  • After the registration form is submitted, a confirmation message will be sent to the email address listed in the “Contact Email Address” section of the form. This confirmation message will include all of the program’s registration data that was entered in the online form. Programs should retain the confirmation message for their records.

Click here to access the online registration form for U.S. and Canadian cardiothoracic surgery residents, fellows, and general surgery residents

Click here to access the international online registration form for cardiothoracic surgery residents outside the U.S. and Canada.

View the General Information Sheet for detailed information about the registration process.

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 23. 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
Through the American Board of Surgery, the TSDA will be utilizing Internet Testing Systems (ITS) to administer the 2019 ITE on March 16 and March 23. 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.

Post-ITE Residents Surveys
Residents enrolled in ACGME-accredited programs registered for the ITE are asked to complete the Post-ITE Residents Survey by April 1, 2019. Residents will be sent an e-mail invitation to complete the 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 2019 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 23, 2019 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. On Saturday testing days, please call ITS Technical Support rather than contact support via email.

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

2019 ITE Materials
General Information Sheet
Online Registration Form – U.S. and Canada
Online Registration Form – International (programs outside the U.S. and Canada)
2019 TSDA ITE Letter of Agreement
Minimum System Requirements

Thank you to TSDA’s 2019 In-Training Exam Committee
David Cooke, MD, Chair

Cardiac Subcommittee  General Thoracic Subcommittee 
Ravi Ghanta, MD, Chair Rishi Reddy, MD, Chair
Aaron Abarbanell, MD Andrew Arndt, MD
Shahab Akhter, MD Kathleen Berfield, MD
Giorgio Aru, MD Stephen Broderick, MD
Emmanuel Daon, MD Philip Carrott, MD
Eric Griffiths, MD Cherie Erkmen, MD
Kendra Grubb, MD Erin Gillaspie, MD
S. Adil Husain, MD Julian Guitron, MD
Brent Keeling, MD Sebron Harrison, MD
Anthony Perez-Tamayo, MD Tony Kim, MD
Paul Perry, MD Rudy Lackner, MD
Matthew Romano, MD Natalie Lui, MD
Danielle Smith, MD Christopher Morse, MD
Ram Subramanyan, MD Karen Rieger, MD
Hiroo Takayama, MD Lana Schumacher, MD
Chris Scott, MD
Betty Tong, MD
Jason Wallen, MD