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Adv Med Educ Pract. 2015 Oct 3;6:571-5. doi: 10.2147/AMEP.S89951. eCollection 2015.

Evaluation and enhancement of medical knowledge competency by monthly tests: a single institution experience.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH, USA.



In-training examination (ITE) has been used as a predictor of performance at the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certifying examination. ITE however may not be an ideal modality as it is held once a year and represents snapshots of performance as compared with a trend. We instituted monthly tests (MTs) to continually assess the performance of trainees throughout their residency.


To determine the predictors of ABIM performance and to assess whether the MTs can be used as a tool to predict passing the ABIM examination.


The MTs, core competencies, and ITE scores were analyzed for a cohort of graduates who appeared for the ABIM examination from 2010 to 2013. Logistic regression was performed to identify the predictors of a successful performance at the ABIM examination.


Fifty-one residents appeared for the ABIM examination between 2010 and 2013 with a pass rate of 84%. The MT score for the first year (odds ratio [OR] =1.302, CI =1.004-1.687, P=0.04) and second year (OR =1.125, CI =1.004-1.261, P=0.04) were independent predictors of ABIM performance along with the second-year ITE scores (OR =1.248, CI =1.096-1.420, P=0.001).


The MT is a valuable tool to predict the performance at the ABIM examination. Not only it helps in the assessment of likelihood of passing the certification examination, it also helps to identify those residents who may require more assistance earlier during their residency. It may also highlight the areas of weakness in program curriculum and guide curriculum development.


American Board of Internal Medicine; board certification; certification examination; health care; residency program

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