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Relationships Between the ACGME Resident and Faculty Surveys and Program Pass Rates on the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification Examination

Holt, Kathleen, D., PhD; Miller, Rebecca, S., MS; Vasilias, Jerry, PhD; Byrne, Lauren, M., MPH; Cable, Christian, MD, MHPE; Grosso, Louis, MEd; Bellini, Lisa, M., MD; McDonald, Furman, S., MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002228
Research Report: PDF Only

Purpose: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has surveyed residents since 2003, and faculty since 2012. Surveys are designed to assess program functioning and specify areas for improvement. The purpose of this study was to assess the association of the ACGME’s resident and faculty surveys with residency program specific performance on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification exam.

Method: Data were available from residents and faculty in 375 U.S. ACGME-accredited internal medicine programs from the 2012–13, 2013–14, and 2014–15 academic years. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlations were used to examine the relationship between noncompliance with ACGME program requirements as assessed by the resident and faculty surveys, and ABIM program pass rates.

Results: Noncompliance reported on the resident and faculty surveys was highest for programs not meeting the ACGME program requirement of an 80% pass rate on the ABIM certification examination. This relationship was significant for overall noncompliance, both within the resident (P < .001) and faculty (P < .05) surveys, for many areas within the two surveys (correlations ranged between -.07 and -.25, and P values ranged between .20 to <.001), and for the highest levels of noncompliance across areas of the resident (P < .001) and faculty (P < .04) surveys.

Conclusions: ACGME resident and faculty surveys were significantly associated with ABIM program pass rates, supporting the importance of these surveys within the ACGME’s Next Accreditation System.

K.D. Holt is special projects analyst, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Chicago, Illinois; and staff scientist, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.

R.S. Miller is senior vice president, Applications and Data Analysis, ACGME, Chicago, Illinois.

J. Vasilias is executive director, Review Committee for Internal Medicine, ACGME, Chicago, Illinois.

L.M. Byrne is director, Data Analytics, Quality, and Reporting, ACGME, Chicago, Illinois.

C. Cable is chair, Review Committee for Internal Medicine, ACGME, Chicago, Illinois; and a faculty member, hematology-oncology program, Scott and White Memorial Hospital, Temple, Texas.

L.J. Grosso is vice president, Psychometrics, American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

L.M. Bellini is vice dean, Academic Affairs, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

F.S. McDonald is Senior Vice President, Academic and Medical Affairs, ABIM, Philadelphia.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at

Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the Data Analytics, Quality, and Reporting team at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), especially Hina Shah.

Funding/Support: Reported as not applicable.

Other disclosures: It the ACGME’s legal policy that neither the resident nor faculty survey instruments, nor any of the individual survey questions from these instruments, are made public.

Ethical approval: The University of Pennsylvania Institutional Review Board reviewed and approved this study.

Correspondence should be addressed to Kathleen D. Holt, 401 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60611; telephone: (312) 755-7119; email:

© 2018 by the Association of American Medical Colleges