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1.  A nomogram to predict the probability of passing the American Board of Internal Medicine examination 
Medical Education Online  2012;17:10.3402/meo.v17i0.18810.
Background
Although the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification is valued as a reflection of physicians’ experience, education, and expertise, limited methods exist to predict performance in the examination.
Purpose
The objective of this study was to develop and validate a predictive tool based on variables common to all residency programs, regarding the probability of an internal medicine graduate passing the ABIM certification examination.
Methods
The development cohort was obtained from the files of the Cleveland Clinic internal medicine residents who began training between 2004 and 2008. A multivariable logistic regression model was built to predict the ABIM passing rate. The model was represented as a nomogram, which was internally validated with bootstrap resamples. The external validation was done retrospectively on a cohort of residents who graduated from two other independent internal medicine residency programs between 2007 and 2011.
Results
Of the 194 Cleveland Clinic graduates used for the nomogram development, 175 (90.2%) successfully passed the ABIM certification examination. The final nomogram included four predictors: In-Training Examination (ITE) scores in postgraduate year (PGY) 1, 2, and 3, and the number of months of overnight calls in the last 6 months of residency. The nomogram achieved a concordance index (CI) of 0.98 after correcting for over-fitting bias and allowed for the determination of an estimated probability of passing the ABIM exam. Of the 126 graduates from two other residency programs used for external validation, 116 (92.1%) passed the ABIM examination. The nomogram CI in the external validation cohort was 0.94, suggesting outstanding discrimination.
Conclusions
A simple user-friendly predictive tool, based on readily available data, was developed to predict the probability of passing the ABIM exam for internal medicine residents. This may guide program directors’ decision-making related to program curriculum and advice given to individual residents regarding board preparation.
doi:10.3402/meo.v17i0.18810
PMCID: PMC3475012  PMID: 23078794
board examination; in-training examination; internal medicine; residents; program directors
2.  Assessing the Effects of the 2003 Resident Duty Hours Reform on Internal Medicine Board Scores 
Purpose
To determine whether the 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty hours reform affected medical knowledge as reflected by written board scores for internal medicine (IM) residents.
Method
The authors conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of post graduate year-1 (PGY-1) Internal Medicine residents who started training before and after the 2003 duty hour reform using a merged data set of American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Board examination and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NMBE) United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Knowledge test scores. Specifically, using four regression models, the authors compared IM residents beginning PGY-1 training in 2000 and completing training unexposed to the 2003 duty hours reform (PGY-1 2000 cohort, n=5,475) to PGY-1 cohorts starting in 2001 through 2005 (n=28,008), all with some exposure to the reform.
Results
The mean ABIM board score for the unexposed PGY-1 2000 cohort (n=5,475) was 491, SD = 85. Adjusting for demographics, program, and USMLE Step 2 exam score, the mean differences (95% CI) in ABIM board scores between the PGY-1 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 cohorts minus the PGY-1 2000 cohort were −5.43 (−7.63, −3.23), -3.44 (−5.65, −1.24), 2.58 (0.36, 4.79), 11.10 (8.88, 13.33) and 11.28 (8.98, 13.58) points respectively. None of these differences exceeded one-fifth of an SD in ABIM board scores.
Conclusion
The duty hour reforms of 2003 did not meaningfully affect medical knowledge as measured by scores on the ABIM board examinations.
doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000193
PMCID: PMC4139168  PMID: 24556772
3.  Evaluation and enhancement of medical knowledge competency by monthly tests: a single institution experience 
Background
In-training examination (ITE) has been used as a predictor of performance at the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certifying examination. ITE however may not be an ideal modality as it is held once a year and represents snapshots of performance as compared with a trend. We instituted monthly tests (MTs) to continually assess the performance of trainees throughout their residency.
Objective
To determine the predictors of ABIM performance and to assess whether the MTs can be used as a tool to predict passing the ABIM examination.
Methods
The MTs, core competencies, and ITE scores were analyzed for a cohort of graduates who appeared for the ABIM examination from 2010 to 2013. Logistic regression was performed to identify the predictors of a successful performance at the ABIM examination.
Results
Fifty-one residents appeared for the ABIM examination between 2010 and 2013 with a pass rate of 84%. The MT score for the first year (odds ratio [OR] =1.302, CI =1.004–1.687, P=0.04) and second year (OR =1.125, CI =1.004–1.261, P=0.04) were independent predictors of ABIM performance along with the second-year ITE scores (OR =1.248, CI =1.096–1.420, P=0.001).
Conclusion
The MT is a valuable tool to predict the performance at the ABIM examination. Not only it helps in the assessment of likelihood of passing the certification examination, it also helps to identify those residents who may require more assistance earlier during their residency. It may also highlight the areas of weakness in program curriculum and guide curriculum development.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S89951
PMCID: PMC4598237  PMID: 26491378
American Board of Internal Medicine; certification examination; health care; board certification; residency program
4.  Are Commonly Used Resident Measurements Associated with Procedural Skills in Internal Medicine Residency Training? 
Background
Acquisition of competence in performing a variety of procedures is essential during Internal Medicine (IM) residency training.
Purposes
Determine the rate of procedural complications by IM residents; determine whether there was a correlation between having 1 or more complications and institutional procedural certification status or attending ratings of resident procedural skill competence on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) monthly evaluation form (ABIM-MEF). Assess if an association exists between procedural complications and in-training examination and ABIM board certification scores.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed all procedure log sheets, procedural certification status, ABIM-MEF procedural skills ratings, in-training exam and certifying examination (ABIM-CE) scores from the period 1990–1999 for IM residency program graduates from a training program.
Results
Among 69 graduates, 2,212 monthly procedure log sheets and 2,475 ABIM-MEFs were reviewed. The overall complication rate was 2.3/1,000 procedures (95% CI: 1.4–3.1/1,000 procedure). With the exception of procedural certification status as judged by institutional faculty, there was no association between our resident measurements and procedural complications.
Conclusions
Our findings support the need for a resident procedural competence certification system based on direct observation. Our data support the ABIM’s action to remove resident procedural competence from the monthly ABIM-MEF ratings.
doi:10.1007/s11606-006-0068-1
PMCID: PMC1824756  PMID: 17356968
procedural skills; Internal Medicine residency training program; ABIM evaluation
5.  Are Commonly Used Resident Measurements Associated with Procedural Skills in Internal Medicine Residency Training? 
Background
Acquisition of competence in performing a variety of procedures is essential during Internal Medicine (IM) residency training.
Purposes
Determine the rate of procedural complications by IM residents; determine whether there was a correlation between having 1 or more complications and institutional procedural certification status or attending ratings of resident procedural skill competence on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) monthly evaluation form (ABIM-MEF). Assess if an association exists between procedural complications and in-training examination and ABIM board certification scores.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed all procedure log sheets, procedural certification status, ABIM-MEF procedural skills ratings, in-training exam and certifying examination (ABIM-CE) scores from the period 1990–1999 for IM residency program graduates from a training program.
Results
Among 69 graduates, 2,212 monthly procedure log sheets and 2,475 ABIM-MEFs were reviewed. The overall complication rate was 2.3/1,000 procedures (95% CI: 1.4–3.1/1,000 procedure). With the exception of procedural certification status as judged by institutional faculty, there was no association between our resident measurements and procedural complications.
Conclusions
Our findings support the need for a resident procedural competence certification system based on direct observation. Our data support the ABIM’s action to remove resident procedural competence from the monthly ABIM-MEF ratings.
doi:10.1007/s11606-006-0068-1
PMCID: PMC1824756  PMID: 17356968
procedural skills; Internal Medicine residency training program; ABIM evaluation
6.  A time-efficient web-based teaching tool to improve medical knowledge and decrease ABIM failure rate in select residents 
Medical Education Online  2015;20:10.3402/meo.v20.29221.
Aim
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) exam's pass rate is considered a quality measure of a residency program, yet few interventions have shown benefit in reducing the failure rate. We developed a web-based Directed Reading (DR) program with an aim to increase medical knowledge and reduce ABIM exam failure rate.
Methods
Internal medicine residents at our academic medical center with In-Training Examination (ITE) scores ≤35th percentile from 2007 to 2013 were enrolled in DR. The program matches residents to reading assignments based on their own ITE-failed educational objectives and provides direct electronic feedback from their teaching physicians. ABIM exam pass rates were analyzed across various groups between 2002 and 2013 to examine the effect of the DR program on residents with ITE scores ≤35 percentile pre- (2002–2006) and post-intervention (2007–2013). A time commitment survey was also given to physicians and DR residents at the end of the study.
Results
Residents who never scored ≤35 percentile on ITE were the most likely to pass the ABIM exam on first attempt regardless of time period. For those who ever scored ≤35 percentile on ITE, 91.9% of residents who participated in DR passed the ABIM exam on first attempt vs 85.2% of their counterparts pre-intervention (p<0.001). This showed an improvement in ABIM exam pass rate for this subset of residents after introduction of the DR program. The time survey showed that faculty used an average of 40±18 min per week to participate in DR and residents required an average of 25 min to search/read about the objective and 20 min to write a response.
Conclusions
Although residents who ever scored ≤35 percentile on ITE were more likely to fail ABIM exam on first attempt, those who participated in the DR program were less likely to fail than the historical control counterparts. The web-based teaching method required little time commitment by faculty.
doi:10.3402/meo.v20.29221
PMCID: PMC4628945  PMID: 26521767
teaching tool; web-based; In-Training Examination; internal medicine residency; residents; teaching physicians
7.  Protocol-directed care in the ICU: making a future generation of intensivists less knowledgeable? 
Critical Care  2012;16(2):307.
Expanded abstract
Citation
Prasad M, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS, Hess BJ, Christie JD, Bellamy SL, Rubenfeld GD, Kahn JM. Clinical Protocols and Trainee Knowledge About Mechanical Ventilation. JAMA. 2011; 306(9):935-941. PubMed PMID: 21900133 This is available on http://www.pubmed.gov
Background
Clinical protocols are associated with improved patient outcomes; however, they may negatively affect medical education by removing trainees from clinical decision making.
Methods
Objective: To study the relationship between critical care training with mechanical ventilation protocols and subsequent knowledge about ventilator management.
Design: A retrospective cohort equivalence study linking a national survey of mechanical ventilation protocol availability with knowledge about mechanical ventilation. Exposure to protocols was defined as high intensity if an intensive care unit had 2 or more protocols for at least 3 years and as low intensity if 0 or 1 protocol.
Setting: Accredited US pulmonary and critical care fellowship programs.
Subjects: First-time examinees of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Critical Care Medicine Certification Examination in 2008 and 2009.
Intervention: N/A
Outcomes: Knowledge, measured by performance on examination questions specific to mechanical ventilation management, calculated as a mechanical ventilation score using item response theory. The score is standardized to a mean (SD) of 500 (100), and a clinically important difference is defined as 25. Variables included in adjusted analyses were birth country, residency training country, and overall first-attempt score on the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification Examination.
Results
The 90 of 129 programs (70%) responded to the survey. Seventy seven programs (86%) had protocols for ventilation liberation, 66 (73%) for sedation management, and 54 (60%) for lung-protective ventilation at the time of the survey. Eighty eight (98%) of these programs had trainees who completed the ABIM Critical Care Medicine Certification Examination, totaling 553 examinees. Of these 88 programs, 27 (31%) had 0 protocols, 19 (22%) had 1 protocol, 24 (27%) had 2 protocols, and 18 (20%) had 3 protocols for at least 3 years. 42 programs (48%) were classified as high intensity and 46 (52%) as low intensity, with 304 trainees (55%) and 249 trainees (45%), respectively. In bi-variable analysis, no difference in mean scores was observed in high-intensity (497; 95% CI, 486-507) vs low-intensity programs (497; 95% CI, 485-509). Mean difference was 0 (95% CI, -16 to 16), with a positive value indicating a higher score in the high-intensity group. In multivariable analyses, no association of training was observed in a high-intensity program with mechanical ventilation score (adjusted mean difference, -5.36; 95% CI, -20.7 to 10.0).
Conclusions
Among first-time ABIM Critical Care Medicine Certification Examination examinees, training in a high-intensity ventilator protocol environment compared with a low-intensity environment was not associated with worse performance on examination questions about mechanical ventilation management.
doi:10.1186/cc11257
PMCID: PMC3681378  PMID: 22494787
8.  Associations between quality indicators of internal medicine residency training programs 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:30.
Background
Several residency program characteristics have been suggested as measures of program quality, but associations between these measures are unknown. We set out to determine associations between these potential measures of program quality.
Methods
Survey of internal medicine residency programs that shared an online ambulatory curriculum on hospital type, faculty size, number of trainees, proportion of international medical graduate (IMG) trainees, Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE) scores, three-year American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination (ABIM-CE) first-try pass rates, Residency Review Committee-Internal Medicine (RRC-IM) certification length, program director clinical duties, and use of pharmaceutical funding to support education. Associations assessed using Chi-square, Spearman rank correlation, univariate and multivariable linear regression.
Results
Fifty one of 67 programs responded (response rate 76.1%), including 29 (56.9%) community teaching and 17 (33.3%) university hospitals, with a mean of 68 trainees and 101 faculty. Forty four percent of trainees were IMGs. The average post-graduate year (PGY)-2 IM-ITE raw score was 63.1, which was 66.8 for PGY3s. Average 3-year ABIM-CE pass rate was 95.8%; average RRC-IM certification was 4.3 years. ABIM-CE results, IM-ITE results, and length of RRC-IM certification were strongly associated with each other (p < 0.05). PGY3 IM-ITE scores were higher in programs with more IMGs and in programs that accepted pharmaceutical support (p < 0.05). RRC-IM certification was shorter in programs with higher numbers of IMGs. In multivariable analysis, a higher proportion of IMGs was associated with 1.17 years shorter RRC accreditation.
Conclusions
Associations between quality indicators are complex, but suggest that the presence of IMGs is associated with better performance on standardized tests but decreased duration of RRC-IM certification.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-30
PMCID: PMC3126786  PMID: 21651768
program quality; Residency Review Committee; American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination
9.  Development of an Ambulatory Geriatrics Knowledge Examination for Internal Medicine Residents 
Background
The number of older adults needing primary care exceeds the capacity of trained geriatricians to accommodate them. All physicians should have basic knowledge of optimal outpatient care of older adults to enhance the capacity of the system to serve this patient group. To date, there is no knowledge-assessment tool that focuses specifically on geriatric ambulatory care.
Objective
We developed an examination to assess internal medicine residents' knowledge of ambulatory geriatrics.
Methods
A consensus panel developed a 30-question examination based on topics in the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Certification Examination Blueprint, the ABIM in-training examinations, and the American Geriatrics Society Goals and Objectives. Questions were reviewed, edited, and then administered to medical students, internal medicine residents, primary care providers, and geriatricians.
Results
Ninety-eight individuals (20 fourth-year medical students, 57 internal medicine residents, 11 primary care faculty members, and 10 geriatrics fellowship-trained physicians) took the examination. Based on psychometric analysis of the results, 5 questions were deleted because of poor discriminatory power. The Cronbach α coefficient of the remaining 25 questions was 0.48; however, assessment of interitem consistency may not be an appropriate measure, given the variety of clinical topics on which questions were based. Scores increased with higher levels of training in geriatrics (P < .001).
Conclusion
Our preliminary study suggests that the examination we developed is a reasonably valid method to assess knowledge of ambulatory geriatric care and may be useful in assessing residents.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-13-00123.1
PMCID: PMC3886473  PMID: 24455023
10.  Associations between resident physicians’ publications and clinical performance during residency training 
BMC Medical Education  2016;16:22.
Background
Both research and clinical medicine requires similar attributes of efficiency, diligence and effective teamwork. Furthermore, residents must succeed at scholarship and patient care to be competitive for fellowship training. It is unknown whether research productivity among residents is related to broad measures of clinical achievement. Our goal was to examine associations between the quantity of internal medicine residents’ publications and validated measures of their knowledge, skills and multi-source evaluations of performance.
Methods
This was a longitudinal study of 308 residents graduating from Mayo Clinic from 2006 to 2012. We identified peer-reviewed articles in Ovid MEDLINE between July of each resident’s match year and the end of their graduation. Outcomes included American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification examination scores, mini clinical examination (mini-CEX) scores, and validated assessments of clinical performance by resident-peers, faculty and non-physicians. Performance assessments were averaged to form an overall score ranging from 1 to 5. Associations between quantity of resident publications – and ABIM, mini-CEX and performance assessment scores – were determined using multivariate linear regression.
Results
The residents published 642 papers, of which 443 (69.0 %) were research papers, 198 (30.8 %) were case reports, and 380 (59.2 %) were first-authored. On adjusted analysis, multi-source clinical performance evaluations were significantly associated (beta; 99 % CI; p-value) with the numbers of research articles (0.012; 0.001–0.024; 0.007), and overall publications (0.012; 0.002–0.022; 0.002).
Conclusions
To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that scholarly productivity based on journal publication is associated with clinical performance during residency training. Our findings suggest that residents who invest substantial efforts in research are not compromised in their abilities to learn medicine and care for patients.
doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0543-2
PMCID: PMC4717564  PMID: 26786879
Graduate medical education; Research; Clinical performance
11.  Charting the Road to Competence: Developmental Milestones for Internal Medicine Residency Training 
Background
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Outcome Project requires that residency program directors objectively document that their residents achieve competence in 6 general dimensions of practice.
Intervention
In November 2007, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ACGME initiated the development of milestones for internal medicine residency training. ABIM and ACGME convened a 33-member milestones task force made up of program directors, experts in evaluation and quality, and representatives of internal medicine stakeholder organizations. This article reports on the development process and the resulting list of proposed milestones for each ACGME competency.
Outcomes
The task force adopted the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition as a framework the internal medicine milestones, and calibrated the milestones with the expectation that residents achieve, at a minimum, the “competency” level in the 5-step progression by the completion of residency. The task force also developed general recommendations for strategies to evaluate the milestones.
Discussion
The milestones resulting from this effort will promote competency-based resident education in internal medicine, and will allow program directors to track the progress of residents and inform decisions regarding promotion and readiness for independent practice. In addition, the milestones may guide curriculum development, suggest specific assessment strategies, provide benchmarks for resident self-directed assessment-seeking, and assist remediation by facilitating identification of specific deficits. Finally, by making explicit the profession's expectations for graduates and providing a degree of national standardization in evaluation, the milestones may improve public accountability for residency training.
doi:10.4300/01.01.0003
PMCID: PMC2931179  PMID: 21975701
12.  Description of a Developmental Criterion-Referenced Assessment for Promoting Competence in Internal Medicine Residents 
Rationale
End-of- rotation global evaluations can be subjective, produce inflated grades, lack interrater reliability, and offer information that lacks value. This article outlines the generation of a unique developmental criterion-referenced assessment that applies adult learning theory and the learner, manager, teacher model, and represents an innovative application to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) 9-point scale.
Intervention
We describe the process used by Southern Illinois University School of Medicine to develop rotation-specific, criterion-based evaluation anchors that evolved into an effective faculty development exercise.
Results
The intervention gave faculty a clearer understanding of the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies, each rotation's educational goals, and how rotation design affects meaningful work-based assessment. We also describe easily attainable successes in evaluation design and pitfalls that other institutions may be able to avoid. Shifting the evaluation emphasis on the residents' development of competence has made the expectations of rotation faculty more transparent, has facilitated conversations between program director and residents, and has improved the specificity of the tool for feedback. Our findings showed the new approach reduced grade inflation compared with the ABIM end-of-rotation global evaluation form.
Discussion
We offer the new developmental criterion-referenced assessment as a unique application of the competences to the ABIM 9-point scale as a transferable model for improving the validity and reliability of resident evaluations across graduate medical education programs.
doi:10.4300/01.01.0012
PMCID: PMC2931180  PMID: 21975710
13.  Procedural Experience and Comfort Level in Internal Medicine Trainees 
BACKGROUND
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has recommended a specific number of procedures be done as a minimum standard for ensuring competence in various medical procedures. These minimum standards were determined by consensus of an expert panel and may not reflect actual procedural comfort or competence.
OBJECTIVE
To estimate the minimum number of selected procedures at which a majority of internal medicine trainees become comfortable performing that procedure.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional, self-administered survey.
SETTING
A military-based, a community-based, and 2 university-based programs.
PARTICIPANTS
Two hundred thirty-two internal medicine residents.
MEASUREMENTS
Survey questions included number of specific procedures performed, comfort level with performing specific procedures, and whether respondents desired further training in specific procedures. The comfort threshold for a given procedure was defined as the number of procedures at which two thirds or more of the respondents reported being comfortable or very comfortable performing that procedure.
RESULTS
For three of seven procedures selected, residents were comfortable performing the procedure at or below the number recommended by the ABIM as a minimum requirement. However, residents needed more procedures than recommended by the ABIM to feel comfortable with central venous line placement, knee joint aspiration, lumbar puncture, and thoracentesis. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, variables independently associated with greater comfort performing selected procedures included increased number performed, more years of training, male gender, career goals, and for skin biopsy, training in the community-based program. Except for skin biopsy, comfort level was independent of training site. A significant number of advanced-year house officers in some programs had little experience in performing selected common ambulatory procedures.
CONCLUSION
Minimum standards for certifying internal medicine residents may need to be reexamined in light of house officer comfort level performing selected procedures.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2000.91104.x
PMCID: PMC1495602  PMID: 11089715
ABIM; procedure comfort level; residents
14.  Relationship of residency program characteristics with pass rate of the American Board of Internal Medicine certifying exam 
Medical Education Online  2015;20:10.3402/meo.v20.28631.
Objectives
To evaluate the relationship between the pass rate of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certifying exam and the characteristics of residency programs.
Methods
The study used a retrospective, cross-sectional design with publicly available data from the ABIM and the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database. All categorical residency programs with reported pass rates were included. Using univariate and multivariate, linear regression analyses, I analyzed how 69 factors (e.g., location, general information, number of faculty and trainees, work schedule, educational environment) are related to the pass rate.
Results
Of 371 programs, only one region had a significantly different pass rate from the other regions; however, as no other characteristics were reported in this region, I excluded program location from further analysis. In the multivariate analysis, pass rate was significantly associated with four program characteristics: ratio of full-time equivalent paid faculty to positions, percentage of osteopathic doctors, formal mentoring program, and on-site child care (OCC). Numerous factors were not associated at all, including minimum exam scores, salary, vacation days, and average hours per week.
Conclusions
As shown through the ratio of full-time equivalent paid faculty to positions and whether there was a formal mentoring program, a highly supervised training experience was strongly associated with the pass rate. In contrast, percentage of osteopathic doctors was inversely related to the pass rate. Programs with OCC significantly outperformed programs without OCC. This study suggested that enhancing supervision of training programs and offering parental support may help attract and produce competitive residents.
doi:10.3402/meo.v20.28631
PMCID: PMC4590350  PMID: 26426400
ABIM; pass rate; program characteristics; internal medicine residency
15.  Predicting Pass Rates on the American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination 
Our objective was to determine the ability of the internal medicine In-Training Examination (ITE) to predict pass or fail outcomes on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certifying examination and to develop an externally validated predictive model and a simple equation that can be used by residency directors to provide probability feedback for their residency programs. We collected a study sample of 155 internal medicine residents from the three Virginia internal medicine programs and a validation sample of 64 internal medicine residents from a residency program outside Virginia. Scores from both samples were collected across three class cohorts. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov z test indicated no statistically significant difference between the distribution of scores for the two samples (z = 1.284, p = .074). Results of the logistic model yielded a statistically significant prediction of ABIM pass or fail performance from ITE scores (Wald = 35.49, SE = 0.036, df = 1, p < .005) and overall correct classifications for the study sample and validation sample at 79% and 75%, respectively. The ITE is a useful tool in assessing the likelihood of a resident's passing or failing the ABIM certifying examination but is less predictive for residents who received ITE scores between 49 and 66.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1998.00122.x
PMCID: PMC1496976  PMID: 9669571
certifying examination; in-training examination; education; predictions; residents
16.  Teaching Internal Medicine Residents Quality Improvement Techniques using the ABIM’s Practice Improvement Modules 
Summary
Introduction/aim
Standard curricula to teach Internal Medicine residents about quality assessment and improvement, important components of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies practiced-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems-based practice (SBP), have not been easily accessible.
Program description
Using the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Clinical Preventative Services Practice Improvement Module (CPS PIM), we have incorporated a longitudinal quality assessment and improvement curriculum (QAIC) into the 2 required 1-month ambulatory rotations during the postgraduate year 2. During the first block, residents complete the PIM chart reviews, patient, and system surveys. The second block includes resident reflection using PIM data and the group performing a small test of change using the Plan–Do–Study–Act (PDSA) cycle in the resident continuity clinic.
Program Evaluation
To date, 3 resident quality improvement (QI) projects have been undertaken as a result of QAIC, each making significant improvements in the residents’ continuity clinic. Resident confidence levels in QI skills (e.g., writing an aim statement [71% to 96%, P < .01] and using a PDSA cycle [9% to 89%, P < .001]) improved significantly.
Discussion
The ABIM CPS PIM can be used by Internal Medicine residency programs to introduce QI concepts into their residents’ outpatient practice through encouraging practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0549-5
PMCID: PMC2517947  PMID: 18449612
Internal Medicine residents; quality improvement; practiced-based learning and improvement; systems-based practice; practice improvement module
17.  Ambulatory Morning Report 
We assessed the ability of a novel ambulatory morning report format to expose internal medicine residents to the breadth of topics covered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) exam. Cases were selected by the Ambulatory Assistant Chief Residents and recorded in a logbook to limit duplication. We conducted a retrospective review of 406 cases discussed from July 1998 to July 2000 and cataloged each according to the primary content area. The percentage of cases in each area accurately reflected that covered by the ABIM exam, with little redundancy or over-selection of esoteric diseases. Our data suggest that a general medicine clinic is capable of exposing house staff to the wide breadth of internal medicine topics previously thought to be unique to subspecialty clinics.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2002.10202.x
PMCID: PMC1495020  PMID: 11929507
postgraduate education; ambulatory care; internal medicine residency; morning report
18.  Burnout and Distress Among Internal Medicine Program Directors: Results of A National Survey 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(8):1056-1063.
BACKGROUND
Physician burnout and distress has been described in national studies of practicing physicians, internal medicine (IM) residents, IM clerkship directors, and medical school deans. However, no comparable national data exist for IM residency program directors.
OBJECTIVE
To assess burnout and distress among IM residency program directors, and to evaluate relationships of distress with personal and program characteristics and perceptions regarding implementation and consequences of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) regulations.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS
The 2010 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) Annual Survey, developed by the APDIM Survey Committee, was sent in August 2010 to the 377 program directors with APDIM membership, representing 99.0 % of the 381 United States categorical IM residency programs.
MAIN MEASURES
The 2010 APDIM Annual Survey included validated items on well-being and distress, including questions addressing quality of life, satisfaction with work-life balance, and burnout. Questions addressing personal and program characteristics and perceptions regarding implementation and consequences of ACGME regulations were also included.
KEY RESULTS
Of 377 eligible program directors, 282 (74.8 %) completed surveys. Among respondents, 12.4 % and 28.8 % rated their quality of life and satisfaction with work-life balance negatively, respectively. Also, 27.0 % reported emotional exhaustion, 10.4 % reported depersonalization, and 28.7 % reported overall burnout. These rates were lower than those reported previously in national studies of medical students, IM residents, practicing physicians, IM clerkship directors, and medical school deans. Aspects of distress were more common among younger program directors, women, and those reporting greater weekly work hours. Work–home conflicts were common and associated with all domains of distress, especially if not resolved in a manner effectively balancing work and home responsibilities. Associations with program characteristics such as program size and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) pass rates were not found apart from higher rates of depersonalization among directors of community-based programs (23.5 % vs. 8.6 %, p = 0.01). We did not observe any consistent associations between distress and perceptions of implementation and consequences of program regulations.
CONCLUSIONS
The well-being of IM program directors across domains, including quality of life, satisfaction with work-life balance, and burnout, appears generally superior to that of medical trainees, practicing physicians, and other medical educators nationally. Additionally, it is reassuring that program directors' perceptions of their ability to respond to current regulatory requirements are not adversely associated with distress. However, the increased distress levels among younger program directors, women, and those at community-based training programs reported in this study are important concerns worthy of further study.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2349-9
PMCID: PMC3710382  PMID: 23595924
graduate medical education; residency; burnout; well-being
19.  Setting a Fair Performance Standard for Physicians’ Quality of Patient Care 
Background
Assessing physicians’ clinical performance using statistically sound, evidence-based measures is challenging. Little research has focused on methodological approaches to setting performance standards to which physicians are being held accountable.
Objective
Determine if a rigorous approach for setting an objective, credible standard of minimally-acceptable performance could be used for practicing physicians caring for diabetic patients.
Design
Retrospective cohort study.
Participants
Nine hundred and fifty-seven physicians from the United States with time-limited certification in internal medicine or a subspecialty.
Main Measures
The ABIM Diabetes Practice Improvement Module was used to collect data on ten clinical and two patient experience measures. A panel of eight internists/subspecialists representing essential perspectives of clinical practice applied an adaptation of the Angoff method to judge how physicians who provide minimally-acceptable care would perform on individual measures to establish performance thresholds. Panelists then rated each measure’s relative importance and the Dunn–Rankin method was applied to establish scoring weights for the composite measure. Physician characteristics were used to support the standard-setting outcome.
Key Results
Physicians abstracted 20,131 patient charts and 18,974 patient surveys were completed. The panel established reasonable performance thresholds and importance weights, yielding a standard of 48.51 (out of 100 possible points) on the composite measure with high classification accuracy (0.98). The 38 (4%) outlier physicians who did not meet the standard had lower ratings of overall clinical competence and professional behavior/attitude from former residency program directors (p = 0.01 and p = 0.006, respectively), lower Internal Medicine certification and maintenance of certification examination scores (p = 0.005 and p < 0.001, respectively), and primarily worked as solo practitioners (p = 0.02).
Conclusions
The standard-setting method yielded a credible, defensible performance standard for diabetes care based on informed judgment that resulted in a reasonable, reproducible outcome. Our method represents one approach to identifying outlier physicians for intervention to protect patients.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1572-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1572-x
PMCID: PMC3077491  PMID: 21104453
clinical performance assessment; standard setting; composite measures; diabetes care
20.  A tool for self-assessment of communication skills and professionalism in residents 
Background
Effective communication skills and professionalism are critical for physicians in order to provide optimum care and achieve better health outcomes. The aims of this study were to evaluate residents' self-assessment of their communication skills and professionalism in dealing with patients, and to evaluate the psychometric properties of a self-assessment questionnaire.
Methods
A modified version of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Patient Assessment survey was completed by 130 residents in 23 surgical and non-surgical training programs affiliated with a single medical school. Descriptive, regression and factor analyses were performed. Internal consistency, inter-item gamma scores, and discriminative validity of the questionnaire were determined.
Results
Factor analysis suggested two groups of items: one group relating to developing interpersonal relationships with patients and one group relating to conveying medical information to patients. Cronbach's alpha (0.86) indicated internal consistency. Males rated themselves higher than females in items related to explaining things to patients. When compared to graduates of U.S. medical schools, graduates of medical schools outside the U.S. rated themselves higher in items related to listening to the patient, yet lower in using understandable language. Surgical residents rated themselves higher than non-surgical residents in explaining options to patients.
Conclusion
This appears to be an internally consistent and reliable tool for residents' self-assessment of communication skills and professionalism. Some demographic differences in self-perceived communication skills were noted.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-1
PMCID: PMC2631014  PMID: 19133146
21.  Patients’ assessment of professionalism and communication skills of medical graduates 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:28.
Background
Professionalism and communication skills constitute important components of the integral formation of physicians which has repercussion on the quality of health care and medical education. The objective of this study was to assess medical graduates’ professionalism and communication skills from the patients’ perspective and to examine its association with patients’ socio-demographic variables.
Methods
This is a hospital based cross-sectional study. It involved 315 patients and 105 medical graduates selected by convenient sampling method. A modified and validated version of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Patient Assessment survey questionnaire was used for data collection through a face to face interview. Data processing and analysis were performed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) 16.0. Mean, frequency distribution, and percentage of the variables were calculated. A non-parametric Kruskal Wallis test was applied to verify whether the patients’ assessment was influenced by variables such as age, gender, education, at a level of significance, p ≤ 0.05.
Results
Female patients constituted 46% of the sample, whereas males constituted 54%. The mean age was 36 ± 16. Patients’ scoring of the graduate’s skills ranged from 3.29 to 3.83 with a mean of 3.64 on a five-point Likert scale. Items assessing the “patient involvement in decision-making” were assigned the minimum mean values, while items dealing with “establishing adequate communication with patient” assigned the maximum mean values. Patients, who were older than 45 years, gave higher scores than younger ones (p < 0.001). Patients with higher education reported much lower scores than those with lower education (p = 0.003). Patients’ gender did not show any statistically significant influence on the rating level.
Conclusion
Generally patients rated the medical graduates’ professionalism and communication skills at a good level. Patients’ age and educational level were significantly associated with the rating level.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-28
PMCID: PMC3923249  PMID: 24517316
22.  Maintenance of certification in Internal Medicine: participation rates and patient outcomes 
The clinical practice of internal medicine continues to evolve with the addition of new information and new technology. Most internists in practice will have erosion of their knowledge after they complete training unless life-long learning occurs. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) began to issue time-limited certification in 1990 and asserts that the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program promotes the professional development of internists. However, the available medical literature does not provide strong support for the assumption that internists with certification or recertification have better patient outcomes. This relationship between recertification and patient outcomes needs more study. In addition, the participation in the Maintenance of Certification program by internists with lifetime certifications has been low, and recertification by leaders in internal medicine has also been relatively low. Some physicians in practice have concerns about the relevance of the program and the cost. Our review suggests that the ABIM needs to review its current Maintenance of Certification program and make changes to enhance its clinical relevance and educational value. We suggest that professional development should be based on focused reviews of the current literature, which is immediately relevant to clinical practice, and that recertification could be based on completion of modules and more frequent, less onerous testing.
doi:10.3402/jchimp.v2i4.19753
PMCID: PMC3715151  PMID: 23882382
certification; recertification; internal medicine; patient outcomes; mortality
23.  An Assessment of Patient-Based and Practice Infrastructure–Based Measures of the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Do We Need to Ask the Patient? 
Health Services Research  2011;47(1 Pt 1):4-21.
Objective
To examine the importance of patient-based measures and practice infrastructure measures of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH).
Data Sources
A total of 3,671 patient surveys of 202 physicians completing the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) 2006 Comprehensive Care Practice Improvement Module and 14,457 patient chart reviews from 592 physicians completing ABIM's 2007 Diabetes and Hypertension Practice Improvement Module.
Methodology
We estimated the association of patient-centered care and practice infrastructure measures with patient rating of physician quality. We then estimated the association of practice infrastructure and patient rating of care quality with blood pressure (BP) control.
Results
Patient-centered care measures dominated practice infrastructure as predictors of patient rating of physician quality. Having all patient-centered care measures in place versus none was associated with an absolute 75.2 percent increase in the likelihood of receiving a top rating. Both patient rating of care quality and practice infrastructure predicted BP control. Receiving a rating of excellent on care quality from all patients was associated with an absolute 4.2 percent improvement in BP control. For reaching the maximum practice-infrastructure score, this figure was 4.5 percent.
Conclusion
Assessment of physician practices for PCMH qualification should consider both patient based patient-centered care measures and practice infrastructure measures.
doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01302.x
PMCID: PMC3447253  PMID: 22092245
Patient-centered care; practice infrastructure; medical home; blood pressure control
24.  Shiraz medical students’ perceptions of their colleagues’ professional behavior 
Introduction
Today, development of professionalism is a critical aim of medical schools. Studies have demonstrated that medical students’ perceived level of professionalism is inadequate worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the medical students’ perceptions of their colleagues’ professional behavior.
Methods
This study is a cross-sectional study with 280 medical students at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in their fifth to seventh year of study as the sample. The study was performed during one month in 2013, using stratified random sampling method. The instrument of the study was the Persian version of the questionnaire of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).The questionnaire includes demographic information, questions about the meaning of the professionalism, history of medical ethics education programs and 12 behavioral questions. The data were analyzed using student t-test and Pearson correlation test. The significance level was set as 0.05.
Results
Forty percent of respondents did not know the meaning of professionalism. The mean±SD score of behavioral questions was 5.91±1.2 on a scale from 0 to 10. The mean±SD score of excellence questions was 4.94±1.7. It was 7.05±1.9 for ‘honor/integrity’, and 6.07±2.1 for ‘altruism/respect’ questions. There was a significant association between gender and excellence score (p=0.007).
Conclusion
Medical students assessed their colleagues’ professional behavior as poor. They did not have proper information about professionalism. Medical students are future general practitioners and respecting medical ethics by them is very important in a perfect health system. Universities should emphasize the importance of teaching professionalism to medical students and faculty members, using innovative education methods.
PMCID: PMC4530001  PMID: 26269788
Professionalism; Excellence; Respect; Medical students
25.  Trends in American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology specialties and neurologic subspecialties 
Neurology  2010;75(12):1110-1117.
Objective: To review the current status and recent trends in the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) specialties and neurologic subspecialties and discuss the implications of those trends for subspecialty viability.
Methods: Data on numbers of residency and fellowship programs and graduates and ABPN certification candidates and diplomates were drawn from several sources, including ABPN records, Web sites of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Medical Association, and the annual medical education issues of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Results: About four-fifths of neurology graduates pursue fellowship training. While most recent neurology and child neurology graduates attempt to become certified by the ABPN, many clinical neurophysiologists elect not to do so. There appears to have been little interest in establishing fellowships in neurodevelopmental disabilities. The pass rate for fellowship graduates is equivalent to that for the “grandfathers” in clinical neurophysiology. Lower percentages of clinical neurophysiologists than specialists participate in maintenance of certification, and maintenance of certification pass rates are high.
Conclusion: The initial enthusiastic interest in training and certification in some of the ABPN neurologic subspecialties appears to have slowed, and the long-term viability of those subspecialties will depend upon the answers to a number of complicated social, economic, and political questions in the new health care era.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181f39a41
PMCID: PMC3463033  PMID: 20855855
ABMS = American Board of Medical Specialties; ABPN = American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; ACGME = Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; MOC = maintenance of certification; RRC-N = Residency Review Committee in Neurology.

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