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Factors That Influence Medical Students' Likelihood Of Becoming Board Certified

Discussion in 'Medical Students Cafe' started by Egyptian Doctor, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    According to a report in the September 7 issue of JAMA, a medical
    education theme issue, the likelihood of a medical school graduate becoming
    board certified is linked with certain factors, such as race/ethnicity, age at
    graduation and level of debt.

    The authors wrote, as background
    information:
    "Specialty-board certification by an American Board of Medical
    Specialties (ABMS) member board is an increasingly important credential for
    physicians engaged in clinical practice. Although lack of ABMS board
    certification does not necessarily mean that a physician is not well qualified,
    its presence is associated with the quality of medical care that physicians
    deliver to their patients.

    Better patient outcomes have been observed for
    patients under the care of board-certified physicians compared with those under
    the care of non-board-certified physicians."

    Donna B. Jeffe,
    Ph.D., and Dorothy A. Andriole, M.D., of the Washington University School of
    Medicine, St. Louis, led an investigation in order to identify demographic,
    medical school, and graduate medical education (GME) variables linked with ABMA
    member board certification among a national cohort of U.S. medical school
    graduates between the years 1997 to 2000.

    The graduates were grouped by
    specialty choice at graduation and followed up through March 2009. Eight
    specialty categories were each examined to find out which factors might have an
    impact on ABMS member board certification. These categories were: internal
    medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, radiology,
    surgery/surgical specialties, obstetrics/gynecology and other non-generalist
    specialties.

    Overall, 87.3% (37,054) of graduates out of 42,440 in the
    investigation sample were board certified. They discovered that graduation year,
    race/ethnicity, age at graduation, U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and
    Step 2 Clinical Knowledge results, leave of absence during GME, and
    withdrawal/dismissal during graduate medical education were linked in all eight
    specialty categories with board certification.

    In all eight categories,
    older medical graduates and those who had withdrawn or who were dismissed from a
    graduate medical education were not as likely to become board certified.

    The researchers write:​
    "In the family medicine category, graduates with higher levels of
    debt were more likely to be board certified. However, in the
    obstetrics/gynecology category, graduates with higher levels of debt were less
    likely to be board certified.

    Compared with whites, underrepresented
    minorities in all specialty categories except family medicine were less likely
    to be board certified, as were Asians/Pacific Islanders in the surgery/surgical
    specialties category.

    Women in the obstetrics/gynecology,
    surgery/surgical specialties, and other non-generalist specialties categories
    were less likely to be board certified."

    On U.S. Medical
    Licensing Examination Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, those in all eight specialty
    categories with passing scores on their first-attempt in the highest tertile
    (versus first-attempt failing scores) were more likely to be board certified.

    Regarding the discoveries on the connection between race/ethnicity and
    board certification, the authors explain that because they:
    "..observed these differences in a sample that included only
    graduates who reported specialty board certification intentions at graduation,
    there may be factors after graduation that disproportionately and negatively
    affect non-white - particularly underrepresented minority - medical school
    graduates' timely advancement along the postgraduation medical education
    continuum to board certification.

    Further research is warranted to
    identify factors after graduation that are associated with board certification
    and amenable to intervention so that these observed disparities in board
    certification can be eliminated."

    They concluded:
    "(our) findings can inform an understanding of factors contributing
    to U.S. medical school graduates' advancement along the medical education
    continuum to board certification, an outcome of interest for medical school
    graduates, their patients, and the relevant professional organizations involved
    in undergraduate medical education, GME, and board certification."

    Source : Factors That Influence Medical Students' Likelihood Of Becoming Board Certified
     

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