ORIGINAL RESEARCH 1734 DOWNLOADS

Relationship between internal medicine program board examination pass rates, accreditation standards, and program size

John L. Falcone1 and Jed D. Gonzalo2

1Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro Health Surgical Specialists, USA

2Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, USA

Submitted: 31/05/2013; Accepted: 02/01/2014; Published: 19/01/2014

Int J Med Educ. 2014; 5:11-14; doi: 10.5116/ijme.52c5.6602

© 2014 John L. Falcone & Jed D. Gonzalo. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use of work provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Objectives: To determine Internal Medicine residency program compliance with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 80% pass-rate standard and the correlation between residency program size and per-formance on the American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional study design from 2010-2012 American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination data of all Internal Medicine residency pro-grams, comparisons were made between program pass rates to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Educa-tion pass-rate standard. To assess the correlation between program size and performance, a Spearman's rho was calculated. To evaluate program size and its relationship to the pass-rate standard, receiver operative characteristic curves were calculated.

Results: Of 372 Internal Medicine residency programs, 276 programs (74%) achieved a pass rate of ≥80%, surpassing the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education minimum standard. A weak correlation was found between residency program size and pass rate for the three-year period (ρ=0.19, p<0.001). The area underneath the receiver operative characteristic curve was 0.69 (95% Confidence Interval [0.63-0.75]), suggesting programs with less than 12 examinees/year are less likely to meet the minimum Ac-creditation Council for Graduate Medical Education pass-rate standard (sensitivity 63.8%, specificity 60.4%, positive predictive value 82.2%, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Although a majority of Internal Medicine residency programs complied with Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education pass-rate standards, a quarter of the programs failed to meet this requirement. Program size is positively but weakly associated with American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examina-tion performance, suggesting other unidentified variables significantly contribute to program performance.