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Med Educ Online


AIM: The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) exam's pass rate is considered a quality measure of a residency program, yet few interventions have shown benefit in reducing the failure rate. We developed a web-based Directed Reading (DR) program with an aim to increase medical knowledge and reduce ABIM exam failure rate.

METHODS: Internal medicine residents at our academic medical center with In-Training Examination (ITE) scores ≤ 35 th percentile from 2007 to 2013 were enrolled in DR. The program matches residents to reading assignments based on their own ITE-failed educational objectives and provides direct electronic feedback from their teaching physicians. ABIM exam pass rates were analyzed across various groups between 2002 and 2013 to examine the effect of the DR program on residents with ITE scores ≤ 35 percentile pre- (2002-2006) and post-intervention (2007-2013). A time commitment survey was also given to physicians and DR residents at the end of the study.

RESULTS: Residents who never scored ≤ 35 percentile on ITE were the most likely to pass the ABIM exam on first attempt regardless of time period. For those who ever scored ≤ 35 percentile on ITE, 91.9% of residents who participated in DR passed the ABIM exam on first attempt vs 85.2% of their counterparts pre-intervention (p < 0.001). This showed an improvement in ABIM exam pass rate for this subset of residents after introduction of the DR program. The time survey showed that faculty used an average of 40±18 min per week to participate in DR and residents required an average of 25 min to search/read about the objective and 20 min to write a response.

CONCLUSIONS: Although residents who ever scored ≤ 35 percentile on ITE were more likely to fail ABIM exam on first attempt, those who participated in the DR program were less likely to fail than the historical control counterparts. The web-based teaching method required little time commitment by faculty.


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Medical Subject Headings

Educational Measurement; Female; Humans; Internal Medicine; Internet; Internship and Residency; Licensure, Medical; Male; Program Evaluation; Reading

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