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Does performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation initial certification examinations predict future physician disciplinary actions?

Kinney, Carolyn L. MD; Raddatz, Mikaela M. PhD; Sliwa, James A. DO; Clark, Gary S. MD; Robinson, Lawrence R. MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: June 19, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001250
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Objective To determine the relationship between performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) primary certification examinations and the risk of subsequent disciplinary actions (DAs) by state medical boards over a physician’s career. The hypothesis is that physicians who do not pass either or both of the two initial specialty certification examinations are at higher risk of disciplinary action (DA) from a state medical licensing board.

Design This is a retrospective cohort study which analyzed board certification examination data from all physicians who completed Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) residency between 1968 and 2017.

Results Matching examination and license data were available for 9,889 PM&R physicians, who received a total of 547 DA reports through the Federation of State Medical Boards. The results showed a significant correlation between failing an ABPMR certification examination and the risk of subsequent DA by a state medical board. Failure to pass either the written (Part I) or oral (Part II) examination increased the risk of subsequent DA by 5.77-fold (p< 0.0001, 95% Cl 4.07, 8.18).

Conclusion Physicians in PM&R who do not pass initial certification examinations and become Board Certified are at higher risk of DA from a state medical licensing board throughout their careers.

American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic

American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Case Western Reserve University/Metro Health Medical Center

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Toronto

Dr. Kinney and Dr. Raddatz are employees of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. No other disclosures. No funding was received for this study.

Corresponding author: Carolyn L. Kinney, MD, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 3015 Allegro Park Ln SW, Rochester, MN 55902, 507-282-1776, Ext. 1743, Email : ckinney@abpmr.org, Fax : 507-282-9242

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