News: ABSITE Study Tool Now Available for Smartphones

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ABSITE Study Tool Now Available for Smartphones

by Christina Frangou

Washington—For residents who are dreading next year’s American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE), there’s a new free study tool that’s much lighter to carry around than a textbook.

Apple Inc., recently approved the Pass the ABSITE application, an iPhone 4 app written by a group of general-surgery residents in Ohio and designed for general-surgery residents studying for their in-training exams.

An independent group of surgical residents then tested the app, giving it a 90% approval for ease of use, and 75% and 85%, respectively, for functionality and overall graphic design.

The work, which was presented last fall at the Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, was recognized as one of the top poster presentations of the meeting. The app was made available over iTunes in February after Apple approved the application. It is the first free application specifically geared toward the ABSITE.

Reviews from residents who have tried the application, however, are mixed. Some have said it’s easy to use and provides another source of ABSITE questions, but others have criticized the design and functionality, the limited number of questions and lack of a scorekeeping feature.

“An app for the ABSITE is a great idea but it needs to address the basic issues above,” said Gavin Falk, MD, a general surgery resident at Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio.

Dr. Sparks and colleagues are working on an updated version of the app, which will be available on earlier-generation iPhones and other smartphones.