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1.  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
2.  Impact of subspecialty elective exposures on outcomes on the American board of internal medicine certification examination 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:94.
Background
The American Board of Internal Medicine Certification Examination (ABIM-CE) is one of several methods used to assess medical knowledge, an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competency for graduating internal medicine residents. With recent changes in graduate medical education program directors and internal medicine residents are seeking evidence to guide decisions regarding residency elective choices. Prior studies have shown that formalized elective curricula improve subspecialty ABIM-CE scores. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether the number of subspecialty elective exposures or the specific subspecialties which residents complete electives in impact ABIM-CE scores.
Methods
ABIM-CE scores, elective exposures and demographic characteristics were collected for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital internal medicine residents who were first-time takers of the ABIM-CE in 2006–2010 (n=152). Elective exposures were defined as a two-week period assigned to the respective subspecialty. ABIM-CE score was analyzed using the difference between the ABIM-CE score and the standardized passing score (delta-SPS). Subspecialty scores were analyzed using percentage of correct responses. Data was analyzed using GraphPad Prism version 5.00 for Windows.
Results
Paired elective exposure and ABIM-CE scores were available in 131 residents. There was no linear correlation between ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS and the total number of electives or the number of unique elective exposures. Residents with ≤14 elective exposures had higher ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS than those with ≥15 elective exposures (143.4 compared to 129.7, p=0.051). Repeated electives in individual subspecialties were not associated with significant difference in mean ABIM-CE delta-SPS.
Conclusions
This study did not demonstrate significant positive associations between individual subspecialty elective exposures and ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS score. Residents with ≤14 elective exposures had higher ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS than those with ≥15 elective exposures suggesting there may be an “ideal” number of elective exposures that supports improved ABIM-CE performance. Repeated elective exposures in an individual specialty did not correlate with overall or subspecialty ABIM-CE performance.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-94
PMCID: PMC3480921  PMID: 23057635
Resident education; Gender; Elective; Subspecialty; Graduate medical education
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  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
14.  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
15.  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
16.  Creation of an Innovative Inpatient Medical Procedure Service and a Method to Evaluate House Staff Competency 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2004;19(5 Pt 2):510-513.
INTRODUCTION
Training residents in medical procedures is an area of growing interest. Studies demonstrate that internal medicine residents are inadequately trained to perform common medical procedures, and program directors report residents do not master these essential skills. The American Board of Internal Medicine requires substantiation of competence in procedure skills for all internal medicine residents; however, for most procedures, standards of competence do not exist.
OBJECTIVE
1) Create a new and standardized approach to teaching, performing, and evaluating inpatient medical procedures; 2) Determine the number of procedures required until trainees develop competence, by assessing both clinical knowledge and psychomotor skills; 3) Improve patient safety.
DESIGN
A Medical Procedure Service (MPS), consisting of select faculty who are experts at common inpatient procedures, was established to supervise residents performing medical procedures. Faculty monitor residents’ psychomotor performance, while clinical knowledge is taught through a complementary, comprehensive curriculum. After the completion of each procedure, the trainee and supervising faculty member independently complete online questionnaires.
RESULTS
During this pilot program, 246 procedures were supervised, with a pooled major complication rate of 3.7%. 123 thoracenteses were supervised, with a pneumothorax rate of 3.3%; this compares favorably with a pooled analysis of the literature. 87% of surveyed house staff felt the procedure service helped in their education of medical procedures.
CONCLUSIONS
The “see one, do one, teach one” model of procedure education is dangerously inadequate. Through the development of a Medical Procedure Service, and an associated procedure curriculum and a mechanism of evaluation, we hope to reduce the rate of complications and errors related to medical procedures and to determine at what point competency is achieved for these procedures.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30161.x
PMCID: PMC1492327  PMID: 15109314
procedures; education; competence; complications
17.  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
18.  Learning procedural skills in family medicine residency 
Canadian Family Physician  2006;52(5):622-623.
OBJECTIVE
To determine whether family medicine residents graduating from rural programs assess themselves as more experienced and competent in a range of procedural skills than graduates of urban programs do.
DESIGN
Self-administered written survey.
SETTING
Ontario.
PARTICIPANTS
Residents from 5 Ontario family medicine programs in 2000 and 2001; a total of 535 surveys were available for analysis (response rate of 78%).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Mean self-assessed experience and competence scores for 53 procedures at residency entry, end of year 1, and graduation.
RESULTS
Upon entry, there was no difference in mean procedural experience (2.89 vs 2.85, P = .54) or mean competence (2.34 vs 2.36, P = .88) scores between rural residents and their urban counterparts. There was a significant increase in procedural experience (P < .001) and competence (P < .001) scores during residency training. At graduation, mean experience (3.98 vs 3.70, P < .001) and competence (3.67 vs 3.39, P = .004) scores were significantly higher for rural residents than for their urban colleagues. A statistically larger proportion of residents graduating from rural programs assessed themselves as competent in 16 procedures. These included skills necessary for treating patients in emergency settings (establish intravenous lines for adults and infants, obtain arterial blood gas measurements, intubate adults and neonates, perform cautery for epistaxis, remove corneal foreign body, aspirate or inject knee and shoulder joints, and apply forearm or walking casts), for diagnostic procedures (endometrial biopsy and bone marrow aspiration), and for management of labour and delivery (vaginal delivery; vacuum extraction; and repair of first-, second-, and third-degree tears).
CONCLUSION
Graduates of rural programs who have had a substantial component of training in communities of fewer than 10 000 people report greater self-assessed experience and competence in procedural skills than graduates of urban programs do. The difference likely reflects the unique aspects of rural training sites, including preceptors’ competence in performing procedures.
PMCID: PMC1531718  PMID: 17327892
19.  Filling the Void: Defining Invasive Bedside Procedural Competency for Internal Medicine Residents 
Background
Residents perform invasive bedside procedures in most training programs. To date, there is no universal approach for determining competency and ensuring quality and safety of care.
Objective
We developed and implemented an assessment of central venous catheter insertion competency for internal medicine and internal medicine–pediatrics residents, using measurements for knowledge, skill, and attitude and linking them to procedural outcomes.
Methods
We conducted a cohort study of a 4-week, resident-run procedure service from July 2007 through June 2011 at a large academic medical center. Knowledge was assessed by using a written test, technical skill by using a checklist, and attitude by self- and supervisor assessments of residents' confidence and capability. Competence was defined as (1) a minimum written test score (70%); (2) a perfect checklist score; (3) a resident's self-assessed confidence and capability scores of 4 or 5 of 5; and (4) faculty rating of the resident's confidence and capability as 5 of 5. A composite success rate was based on procedural outcomes (eg, completed procedures, less than 3 forward needle passes, and complication rate) and was compared to the checklist scores.
Results
A total of 148 internal medicine and medicine–pediatrics residents inserted 639 catheters, and 53 (36%) achieved competence by the end of 4 weeks. Residents judged to be competent by checklist scores had a higher composite success rate than those deemed not competent.
Conclusions
Our multi-factorial criteria used to define central venous catheter insertion competency effectively discriminated between residents judged to be competent and those judged not competent, using data from procedural outcomes.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-13-00030.1
PMCID: PMC3886459  PMID: 24455009
20.  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
21.  Mastery Learning of Advanced Cardiac Life Support Skills by Internal Medicine Residents Using Simulation Technology and Deliberate Practice 
BACKGROUND
Internal medicine residents must be competent in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) for board certification.
OBJECTIVE
To use a medical simulator to assess postgraduate year 2 (PGY-2) residents' baseline proficiency in ACLS scenarios and evaluate the impact of an educational intervention grounded in deliberate practice on skill development to mastery standards.
DESIGN
Pretest-posttest design without control group. After baseline evaluation, residents received 4, 2-hour ACLS education sessions using a medical simulator. Residents were then retested. Residents who did not achieve a research-derived minimum passing score (MPS) on each ACLS problem had more deliberate practice and were retested until the MPS was reached.
PARTICIPANTS
Forty-one PGY-2 internal medicine residents in a university-affiliated program.
MEASUREMENTS
Observational checklists based on American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines with interrater and internal consistency reliability estimates; deliberate practice time needed for residents to achieve minimum competency standards; demographics; United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and Step 2 scores; and resident ratings of program quality and utility.
RESULTS
Performance improved significantly after simulator training. All residents met or exceeded the mastery competency standard. The amount of practice time needed to reach the MPS was a powerful (negative) predictor of posttest performance. The education program was rated highly.
CONCLUSIONS
A curriculum featuring deliberate practice dramatically increased the skills of residents in ACLS scenarios. Residents needed different amounts of training time to achieve minimum competency standards. Residents enjoy training, evaluation, and feedback in a simulated clinical environment. This mastery learning program and other competency-based efforts illustrate outcome-based medical education that is now prominent in accreditation reform of residency education.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00341.x
PMCID: PMC1828088  PMID: 16637824
mastery learning; medical simulation; residency education
22.  Predicting performance using background characteristics of international medical graduates in an inner-city university-affiliated Internal Medicine residency training program 
Background
IMGs constitute about a third of the United States (US) internal medicine graduates. US residency training programs face challenges in selection of IMGs with varied background features. However data on this topic is limited. We analyzed whether any pre-selection characteristics of IMG residents in our internal medicine program are associated with selected outcomes, namely competency based evaluation, examination performance and success in acquiring fellowship positions after graduation.
Methods
We conducted a retrospective study of 51 IMGs at our ACGME accredited teaching institution between 2004 and 2007. Background resident features namely age, gender, self-reported ethnicity, time between medical school graduation to residency (pre-hire time), USMLE step I & II clinical skills scores, pre-GME clinical experience, US externship and interest in pursuing fellowship after graduation expressed in their personal statements were noted. Data on competency-based evaluations, in-service exam scores, research presentation and publications, fellowship pursuance were collected. There were no fellowships offered in our hospital in this study period. Background features were compared between resident groups according to following outcomes: (a) annual aggregate graduate PGY-level specific competency-based evaluation (CBE) score above versus below the median score within our program (scoring scale of 1 – 10), (b) US graduate PGY-level specific resident in-training exam (ITE) score higher versus lower than the median score, and (c) those who succeeded to secure a fellowship within the study period. Using appropriate statistical tests & adjusted regression analysis, odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
Results
94% of the study sample were IMGs; median age was 35 years (Inter-Quartile range 25th – 75th percentile (IQR): 33–37 years); 43% women and 59% were Asian physicians. The median pre-hire time was 5 years (IQR: 4–7 years) and USMLE step I & step II clinical skills scores were 85 (IQR: 80–88) & 82 (IQR: 79–87) respectively. The median aggregate CBE scores during training were: PG1 5.8 (IQR: 5.6–6.3); PG2 6.3 (IQR 6–6.8) & PG3 6.7 (IQR: 6.7 – 7.1). 25% of our residents scored consistently above US national median ITE scores in all 3 years of training and 16% pursued a fellowship.
Younger residents had higher aggregate annual CBE score than the program median (p < 0.05). Higher USMLE scores were associated with higher than US median ITE scores, reflecting exam-taking skills. Success in acquiring a fellowship was associated with consistent fellowship interest (p < 0.05) and research publications or presentations (p <0.05). None of the other characteristics including visa status were associated with the outcomes.
Conclusion
Background IMG features namely, age and USMLE scores predict performance evaluation and in-training examination scores during residency training. In addition enhanced research activities during residency training could facilitate fellowship goals among interested IMGs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-42
PMCID: PMC2717068  PMID: 19594918
23.  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
24.  Instituting systems-based practice and practice-based learning and improvement: a curriculum of inquiry 
Medical Education Online  2013;18:10.3402/meo.v18i0.21612.
Background
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires that training programs integrate system-based practice (SBP) and practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) into internal medicine residency curricula.
Context and setting
We instituted a seminar series and year-long-mentored curriculum designed to engage internal medicine residents in these competencies.
Methods
Residents participate in a seminar series that includes assigned reading and structured discussion with faculty who assist in the development of quality improvement or research projects. Residents pursue projects over the remainder of the year. Monthly works in progress meetings, protected time for inquiry, and continued faculty mentorship guide the residents in their project development. Trainees present their work at hospital-wide grand rounds at the end of the academic year. We performed a survey of residents to assess their self-reported knowledge, attitudes and skills in SBP and PBLI. In addition, blinded faculty scored projects for appropriateness, impact, and feasibility.
Outcomes
We measured resident self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and skills at the end of the academic year. We found evidence that participants improved their understanding of the context in which they were practicing, and that their ability to engage in quality improvement projects increased. Blinded faculty reviewers favorably ranked the projects’ feasibility, impact, and appropriateness. The ‘Curriculum of Inquiry’ generated 11 quality improvement and research projects during the study period. Barriers to the ongoing work include a limited supply of mentors and delays due to Institutional Review Board approval. Hospital leadership recognizes the importance of the curriculum, and our accreditation manager now cites our ongoing work.
Conclusions
A structured residency-based curriculum facilitates resident demonstration of SBP and practice-based learning and improvement. Residents gain knowledge and skills though this enterprise and hospitals gain access to trainees who help to solve ongoing problems and meet accreditation requirements.
doi:10.3402/meo.v18i0.21612
PMCID: PMC3776321  PMID: 24044686
graduate medical education; competencies; longitudinal curriculum
25.  Procedural Skills Training During Emergency Medicine Residency: Are We Teaching the Right Things? 
Objectives:
The Residency Review Committee training requirements for emergency medicine residents (EM) are defined by consensus panels, with specific topics abstracted from lists of patient complaints and diagnostic codes. The relevance of specific curricular topics to actual practice has not been studied. We compared residency graduates’ self-assessed preparation during training to importance in practice for a variety of EM procedural skills.
Methods:
We distributed a web-based survey to all graduates of the Denver Health Residency Program in EM over the past 10 years. The survey addressed: practice type and patient census; years of experience; additional procedural training beyond residency; and confidence, preparation, and importance in practice for 12 procedures (extensor tendon repair, transvenous pacing, lumbar puncture, applanation tonometry, arterial line placement, anoscopy, CT scan interpretation, diagnostic peritoneal lavage, slit lamp usage, ultrasonography, compartment pressure measurement and procedural sedation). For each skill, preparation and importance were measured on four-point Likert scales. We compared mean preparation and importance scores using paired sample t-tests, to identify areas of under- or over-preparation.
Results:
Seventy-four residency graduates (59% of those eligible) completed the survey. There were significant discrepancies between importance in practice and preparation during residency for eight of the 12 skills. Under-preparation was significant for transvenous pacing, CT scan interpretation, slit lamp examinations and procedural sedation. Over-preparation was significant for extensor tendon repair, arterial line placement, peritoneal lavage and ultrasonography. There were strong correlations (r>0.3) between preparation during residency and confidence for 10 of the 12 procedural skills, suggesting a high degree of internal consistency for the survey.
Conclusions:
Practicing emergency physicians may be uniquely qualified to identify areas of under- and over-preparation during residency training. There were significant discrepancies between importance in practice and preparation during residency for eight of 12 procedures. There was a strong correlation between confidence and preparation during residency for almost all procedural skills, reenforcing the tenet that residency training is the primary locus of instruction for clinical procedures.
PMCID: PMC2729214  PMID: 19718375

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