The Diplomate January 2016
Happy New Year! In the last issue of The Diplomate, I discussed ways in which the Board of Directors is using feedback from diplomates to produce new exams that will be more relevant to your practice. In this issue, I would like to tell you about two more initiatives that we are working on that in the future may benefit diplomates, patients, and orthopaedic residents.
First, we are studying additional methods to allow the board to assess diplomates to improve their practice and to promote quality patient care. We are evaluating a system that measures responses from patients using computerized adaptive testing. Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is an NIH-funded system that measures the physical, mental, and social well-being of patients as recorded by the patients themselves.
The ABOS conducted a small trial in which a diverse group of surgeons were given an iPad loaded with the PROMIS survey questions. Patients were given the iPad prior to surgery and asked to complete a short questionnaire to get baseline information, such as their pain level. After recovering from surgery, patients received the same questions to see how the surgery helped. ABOS is in the very early stages of testing the system to see how it could be used to assess the outcomes of patients treated by orthopaedic surgeons.
Second, we’ve had meetings with representatives of the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to develop a plan to produce a curriculum of essential knowledge, skills, and behaviors that would be required for orthopaedic residents in training. We are working with these organizations to develop an outline, content, and valid assessments. Once initial drafts are produced this program will need to be piloted at receptive residency programs.
The Board strives to make improvements that provide better outcomes for patients and surgeons and improve education of orthopaedic residents. We will keep you updated as these projects move forward.
I hope this new year brings much health and happiness.
Larry Marsh, MD
Executive Director Report:
The ABOS plans more diplomate surveys and a more interactive website in 2016 and beyond.
The ABOS sent out a survey to time-limited diplomates this past September to gauge the support for possible changes to the high-stakes recertification examinations. The results of this survey showed a greater support for annual online self-assessment examinations when compared to asking diplomates to answer a single-question quiz every week; a process that other ABMS boards have begun to implement in their MOC programs.
Going forward, there will be more surveys to gauge the input of ABOS diplomates regarding the current certification and MOC processes. However, at this time there has been no decision by the ABOS Board to make changes to the current MOC process which requires 240 CME credits (40 of which must be SAE credits), three or six month case lists depending on the recertification examination taken, and valid peer review in order to sit for the recertification examination.
As for ABOS’s certification process, I can announce that there is a potential for the Part I and Part II examinations to be affected by a development that will create an educational curriculum for residency titled Orthopaedic Knowledge, Skill and Behavior. Our President, Dr. Marsh, mentions this topic further in his article within this issue of The Diplomate. This new curriculum will most likely developed in 2016 with a potential impact on examinations starting in 2018. Once implemented there will be surveys to assess the new curriculum’s impact on residents.
The ABOS will be launching an updated website in 2016. In addition to other features, the updated website will focus on streamlining information regarding the rules and procedures for certification and MOC. In addition to a cleaner design, the new website will update how diplomates view their current status and the requirements that still must be met to maintain their certification. The website should also be more interactive in order to answer simple questions without having to make a candidate or diplomate call and speak with ABOS staff.
While personnel at the ABOS office will always be available to answer questions and explain important items such as deadlines and application requirements, with improved website support diplomates will have easier access to answers which are important to your certification.
In summary, the ABOS will be reaching out with more surveys which provide our organization information in order to continually improve our core business. Suggestions are always welcome via email to me or our COO Aaron White. Best wishes for a successful and healthy 2016.
Shep Hurwitz, MD
Cynthia McCoy Crummey, Executive Assistant
Keeping with my theme of writing about the ABOS staff, starting with those who have been with ABOS the longest, we are now at the fourth team member who has worked for the ABOS for over 20 years. In 1995, when the Board of Directors hired its first full-time Executive Director, Dr. G. Paul DeRosa, they also hired an Executive Assistant: Cynthia Crummey.
In addition to assisting the Executive Director, Cynthia has many key responsibilities. She acts as a liaison between the Research Committee, those who are requesting access to the ABOS case list database, and those who have an approved research project. Cynthia also works with the 10 programs awarded research grants focused on innovations in resident education.
Directors-Elect are chosen from a slate of nominees that come from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, and the American Medical Association. Cynthia works with these organizations to obtain the slates of nominees and continues to work with them through the ABOS election process.
In addition, Cynthia works on many special projects such as the Surgical Skills Task Force, the Orthopaedic Competencies Task Force, and screening of non-standard fellowship requests for Educational Committee for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) approval.
Prior to moving to North Carolina, Cynthia lived in the Washington, DC area where she held a variety of jobs: human resources administrator, art gallery owner, and owner/manager of a 12-unit apartment complex. Even more diverse than her work history are her interests. Cynthia is a beekeeper, welder, artist, and poet. She has volunteered with the local Animal Protection Society for a decade and studied classical ballet for more than 15 years. Cynthia owned a small horse farm where she taught dressage. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland and continued her studies at Hood College in business administration.
Aaron S. White
Chief Operating Officer
New Way to Earn SAE Credits:
Before you can sit for your recertification examination, you need to have 240 continuing medical education (CME) credits submitted and approved by ABOS, with at least 40 of these credits from self-assessment examinations (SAE). The ABOS has a new way you can earn these SAE credits, often by doing what you are already doing.
Like many of the specialty boards, ABOS participates in the Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). ABMS acts as a clearinghouse on behalf of the participating specialty boards. It approves organizations that want to become sponsors and then receives sponsor projects and forwards to specialty boards for approval.
Most of the sponsors are hospital systems and the physicians who have privileges at those hospital systems can participate in the projects to earn SAE credits. ABOS approves the sponsor projects which pertain to orthopaedics and manages the day-to-day oversight of the orthopaedic-related projects which are approved for SAE by the ABOS.
As with all SAEs, these projects are intended to measure a diplomate's individual learning needs and provide avenues for quality improvements. Projects are designed for physician participation with the goal of improving their patient outcomes. Many of the portfolio projects are those that the hospital facility already requires of their physicians. Now physicians can receive credit from ABOS for their participation in these projects. A list of sponsors and projects is on ABOS's website.
There are approximately 30 orthopaedic-related projects from 12 sponsors that diplomates at those organizations can earn SAE credits.
In addition to these organizations associated with the portfolio program, many societies and organizations have been approved by ABOS to provide SAE credit. There are also several other ways to earn SAE credits including practice improvement modules and registries.
All SAEs are produced by organizations other than the ABOS, but which have been approved by the ABOS for MOC credit. All ABOS-approved SAEs:
- allow assessment of knowledge for an orthopaedic topic, procedure, or diagnosis with measurable scored results, education, plan for practice improvement and re‐assessment based on identified knowledge gaps;
- include a mechanism for the diplomate to receive performance results and apply the results to improvement in practice; and
- include a mechanism for assessing performance or comparing the diplomate’s performance with peers or relevant benchmarks, and educational resources to support performance in practice.
If you have any questions regarding the portfolio program or SAE in general, please email me at email@example.com. If your organization would like to become a sponsor, please contact ABMS.
Brenda H. Kulp, RN, BSN, MA
Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Specialist