Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012
Do subspecialty electives impact board scores?
A new study published in BMC Medical Education suggests that there could be an "ideal" number of subspecialty electives residents should take to maximize their performance on board exams.
The study, which looked at 131 internal medicine residents who took the American Board of Internal Medicine Certification Examination for the first time, found that residents with 14 or fewer elective exposures had a higher mean board score than those with 15 or more elective exposures.
While the study did not find a significant positive association between individual subspecialty elective exposures and board scores, the researchers believe their findings can help residents and program directors design beneficial elective experiences in the era of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's new Next Accreditation System.
Internal medicine residents have an array of options when it comes to designing their residency educational experience. Residents could go through several electives in one subspecialty but miss others altogether. Previous studies have shown that subspecialty board performance can be improved by electives with a structured curricula, but there is less data comparing the impact of subspecialty elective exposure and board performance.
Submit your QI project ideas for new AMA database
In light of new requirements for residents to complete quality improvement (QI) projects and participate in their institutions' QI initiatives, the AMA is compiling a database to help residents and fellows get started.
Part of a collection of QI resources, the Resident and Fellow QI Forum and Database (AMA login required) gives physicians in training an opportunity to share ideas with their peers. Complete a brief online form to be among the first to showcase your QI initiatives and help spark similar improvements in residency programs across the country.
Recognizing the importance of QI efforts to achieve greater patient safety and reduce costs associated with preventable errors, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires residents to participate in QI efforts as part of their training.