Though it is true that some test-taking skill is required to succeed on the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) certification examination, the requirement is fairly minimal. Although all the participants seem to have performed better than chance would predict, it was not by much. Methods: Four nonphysician experts in the field of measurement and testing were administered one version of the 2009 ABFM certification examination. Psychometric validation demonstrates that the construct implied by the questions is stable. The minimum passing threshold for the 2009 certification examination was a scaled score of 390, corresponding to 57.7% to 61.0% of questions answered correctly, depending on the version of the examination. Note: This module does not include care of elite athletes such as Olympic athletes, professional athletes, or members of NCAA Division I sports teams. Rasch analysis operates under the assumption, in the mathematical sense, that the more able a person is, the higher probability he or she has of getting an item correct. In fact, there were numerous items for which the 4 nonphysicians each selected a different response option. Subject 3, whose doctorate is in the field of educational psychology and whose master's degree is in clinical psychology, answered 8 of 19 items correctly in this clinical category. Typically, one administers a test to assess someone's ability, but if the test score is assumed to be biased by the effects of test-taking skills, then an independent and highly reliable measure of that ability,12 free from the effects of test-taking skills, is needed for comparison. The evidence demonstrates that the ABFM board certification examination is not a measure of generic test-taking ability, and people without appropriate medical training are extremely unlikely to pass the examination. It is worth noting that some of the physicians who outscored the participants actually left large numbers of questions unanswered, which were then scored as wrong. This module covers: inpatient care of conditions requiring hospitalization. Compared with the cohort of more than 10,000 physicians, 3 of the 4 participants scored lower than all the physicians. NEJM Knowledge+ Family Medicine Board Review is designed to help you concentrate your study of the general and elective ABFM modules. First, here’s a brief rundown of the modules of the exam; for a full description, please see the ABFM website. However, if one is able to eliminate all but 2 response options, one still has, at best, a 50% chance of answering an item correctly. For the 4 examinees in this study, all of whom had no a background in family medicine, instances of “informed guessing” were greatly reduced. Through ABMS, the boards work together to establish common standards for physicians to achieve and maintain board certification. Empirical results indicate that this is indeed the case. As an added incentive to perform well, all participants consented to release their individual score results, regardless of the outcome, for possible publication in a conference paper or journal article. The One-Day Family Medicine Certification Examination is divided into four separate sections of equal length and 100 minutes of pooled break time is available to be used between sections. The number of questions answered correctly ranged from 24.0% to 35.1% (mean, 29.2%; SD, 0.05%). NEJM Knowledge+ is a product of NEJM Group, a division of the Massachusetts Medical Society.Copyright © Massachusetts Medical Society. Many residents gravitate toward specific modules due to their own experiences in the field: for example, the structured setup and preventive care focus of pediatrics lends itself well to the questions in the Child and Adolescent Care module. It is administered and proctored by staff at Prometric in approximately 350 locations around the United States and 180 international locations. If such a measure existed the effects of test-taking skills could be easily separated from the effects of ability, but, in the absence of such a measure, it is difficult to experimentally disentangle these 2 concepts. All rights reserved. Subject 2 and subject 1 correctly answered 5 of 19 and 3 of 19 items, respectively, in this category. By sheer probability, one might expect these physicians to surpass a score of 200 had they actually answered all of the questions. NOTE: We only request your email address so that the person you are recommending the page to knows that you wanted them to see it, and that it is not junk mail. Conflict of interest: All authors are employees of the American Board of Family Medicine. Some people contend that the examination is predominantly a test of superior test-taking skills rather than of family medicine decision-making ability. We do not capture any email address. Experts in tests and measurement have identified 3 primary types of guessing: random guessing, cued guessing, and informed guessing.16 Random guessing occurs when examinees respond blindly to a test item. However, without any cues the nonphysician participants relied solely on guessing, which is why each failed miserably in those areas where they possessed no content knowledge. OUR MISSION. Note: Advanced intensive care unit (ICU)(e.g., ventilator and catheter management) will not be covered. The 4 nonphysician examinees performed poorly, with scaled scores that ranged from 20 to 160 (mean score, 87. Because the ABFM exam emphasizes the importance of current knowledge in family medicine, ABFM recommends you use the most recent evidence to support your answers as you work on the exam questions. In addition, we investigated what would happen if a test taker simply selected A, B, C or D for all items. Knowing clinical practice cases that apply to the ABFM elective modules where you are strongest will help you maintain the knowledge you need for the elective modules and the general exam. Results: The minimum passing threshold for the examination was a scaled score of 390, corresponding to 57.7% to 61.0% of questions answered correctly, depending on the version of the examination. In an effort to explore the validity of this assertion, we administered the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Certification to examinees who had demonstrated proficiency in taking standardized tests but had limited medical knowledge. Family medicine physicians can be found in many diverse roles, and your choice of module should be aligned with your role. Likewise, subject 1's lower score in relation to his colleagues is likely because of a lack of experience with and knowledge about health-related issues. The Family Medicine Board Certification Exam (the "ABFM") is required for initial and ongoing certification in family medicine.

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