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PM R. 2017 Oct 9. pii: S1934-1482(17)30109-0. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2017.09.010. [Epub ahead of print]

Performance of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Candidates on the Subspecialty Board Certification Examination from 2003-2015.

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Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Rochester, MN. Electronic address:
University of Washington, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA.
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rochester, MN.
Sanford Health Systems, Bismarck, ND and Gillette Specialty Healthcare, Northern Minnesota Clinics, Duluth, MN.



Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) physicians enter the field via several pathways. It is unknown if different training pathways impact performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) PRM Examination and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Examination.


To describe the exam performance of candidates on the ABPMR PRM Examination according to their type of training (physiatrists with a clinical PRM focus, accredited or unaccredited fellowship training, separate pediatric and PM&R residencies or combined Peds/PM&R residencies) and to compare candidates' performance on the PRM Examination with their initial ABPMR certification and MOC Examinations.


A retrospective cohort study SETTING: American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation office PARTICIPANTS: 250 candidates taking the PRM subspecialty certification exam from 2003-2015 METHODS: Scaled scores on the PRM Examination were compared to the examinees' initial certification scores as well as their admissibility criteria. Pass rates and scaled scores were also compared for those taking their initial PRM certification versus MOC.


Board pass rates and mean scaled scores for initial PRM Examination and MOC RESULTS: The 250 physiatrists who took the subspecialty PRM Examination had an overall first time pass rate of 89%. There was no significant difference between first-time PRM pass rates or mean scaled scores for individuals who completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited fellowship versus those who did not. First time PRM pass rates were highest among those who were also certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (100%). Performance on Parts I and II of the initial ABPMR Certification Examination significantly predicted PRM Exam scores. There was no difference in mean scaled scores for initial PRM certification versus taking the PRM Examination for MOC.


Several pathways to admissibility to the PRM Examination afforded similar opportunity for diplomates to gain the knowledge necessary to pass the PRM Examination. Once certified, physicians taking the PRM Examination for MOC have a high success rate of passing again in years 7-10 of their certification cycle.


Certification; Graduate Medical Education; Specialty Boards

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