Article-Based Assessments Help Physicians Obtain Latest Evidence Quickly, Conveniently

ABMS Insights (03/15/18)

To help board-certified physicians keep current, some American Board of Medical Specialties' Member Boards are hand-selecting journal articles for their relevance and timeliness. The certifying Boards are then using these articles as part of their educational and assessment processes. In January, for example, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology began its Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) pilot. Every six months, board-certified allergists/immunologists receive 40 questions, 30 of which are based on peer-reviewed articles and 10 are core/general knowledge questions, for a total of 80 questions annually. They can determine when and where they would like to answer the questions within a six-month period. Allergists/immunologists can receive continuing medical education credit for participating in the CAP pilot, which is expected to replace the Board's MOC secure exam. Meanwhile, starting in 2019, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) will pilot an article-based assessment intended as an optional alternative to its current 10-year MOC exam. Board-certified psychiatrists/neurologists who are eligible and volunteer for the pilot will be required to read a minimum of 30 ABPN-approved journal articles, but no more than 40, and answer four out of five questions correctly on the first attempt for 30 of the articles. The questions will be administered as online, open-book "mini-tests" accessed via the Internet from a personal computer. The pilot project will run for three years. ABPN might transition psychiatrists/neurologists to this program as a permanent alternative to the secure MOC exam.

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