The Diplomate June 2015
Evolution of the Examination Process- and a Thank You for the Help!
One of the most important roles of the members of ABOS’s Board is the development and administration of certification examinations. Over the past few years we have made significant changes to the Part II and the Recertification Oral Exam processes, specifically image digitization three years ago and the digitization of records last year.
These advances could not have been implemented without the support of a dedicated group of diplomates (both newbies and oldies) who made special trips to Chicago for the beta tests of these examination modifications. Mock examinations were administered to these bold souls in order to test the technology used to view images during an oral examination as well as the use of electronic records. Each of these beta-test examinations were administered in the year prior to the July oral examination in which the next group of candidates would use these advancements.
This year a new group of diplomates have volunteered to beta test a potential advancement in surgical outcome measurement through patient surveys. These surveys will be administered using tablets and the PROMIS database for analysis. In the future, as the program matures, diplomates will benefit from the resultant data and feedback.
These are just three recent examples of where diplomates have, or will, participate in process improvements. On behalf of the ABOS Board of Directors I would sincerely like to thank these individuals for their dedication and efforts. The feedback obtained is invaluable and will positive impact on current and future board-eligible and board-certified orthopaedic surgeons.
Please keep reading to see what’s new this month at the ABOS.
Sanford E. Emery MD, MBA
President, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Executive Director Report:
Recording CME with the ABOS and changes to CME
The ABOS is working with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to create changes in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process that should ease the burden of reporting CME and Self-Assessment Examination (SAE) activities. The AAOS and ABOS have a process that will transfer CME from an AAOS fellow’s portfolio to that surgeon’s dashboard on the ABOS website. The transfer is not done automatically and requires the AAOS fellow to open his/her portfolio and actively click on a button to make the transfer happen.
At present the AAOS-ABOS transfer includes only the CME and SAE that are provided by the AAOS. Both organizations are looking to expand the functionality to include non-AAOS CME activity. One expansion of this service is to have orthopaedic sub-specialty societies to partner with the AAOS. CME and SAE can then be loaded on to the AAOS portfolio which can then be transferred to the ABOS dashboard.
The future of CME is likely to change over the next few years, with the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education shifting most CME credits into a "process improvement" CME. The so-called pi-CME will consist of a post activity questionnaire to measure the learning objectives of the CME course and then a post-test questionnaire several months later asking for ways in which the learning activity changed patient care. ABOS has been waiting for these changes in CME for several years now and there is no specified date when these changes will occur.
If and when CME moves the process-improvement stage into routine use, it is likely that ABOS will reconsider the status of the Self-Assessment Examination in the MOC process. In the future use of CME the ABOS will gain alignment between CME required for local credentialing, state medical license renewal, and MOC. And, the results of a Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) statement recently that the average state medical board requires between 30-40 practice related CME credits per year (some states require as many as 50 CME credits per year) - placing ABOS within the range of what physicians are already doing to maintain licensure.
As recently stated in an opinion piece in the AAOS NOW, the ABOS is trying to simplify the MOC process by giving credit to what our diplomates are doing for local and state-wide credentialing and licensure. Going forward with the AAOS we will try to simplify and expand upon the transfer of CME from an AAOS fellow’s portfolio to that fellow's ABOS dashboard. And this process will be accomplished with no cost to fellows and diplomates.
Shepard R. Hurwitz, MD
Patti Scalf, ABOS Administrator
Written by Aaron White, ABOS’s Chief Operating Officer
In the upcoming issues of The Diplomate we will spotlight the staff of the ABOS office, especially those staff members who work closely with our Part I /Part II candidates and our Diplomates. In my first 6 months working for the ABOS I have come to know the men and women who make up the ABOS staff and I am impressed by their dedication to the mission of the ABOS and to the service we provide to our constituents. Currently the ABOS staff is composed of twelve individuals whose average tenure is twelve years, with four of those staff having worked for the ABOS for over 20 years each.
I believe it is important for our constituents to know the individuals with whom they work during their application, certification, and recertification processes. While as a certification board we do not have members, our staff has created a culture in which we want to treat each of our constituents with the same level of service and dedication that they would expect that they would expect to receive themselves. This first staff spotlight will be on the staff member with the longest tenure here at the ABOS, Ms. Patti Scalf, ABOS’s Administrator.
Patti’s history with the organization began in 1991, when the Board moved the ABOS office from Chicago to our new office building in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Around this same time the Board had hired a COO to oversee the final phases of construction of the office building and to manage the move. Patti worked with this individual previously at the University of North Carolina Hospital and was asked by her to work for the Board as Examinations Manager and Accountant. Since none of the existing staff was moving from Chicago, Patti was tasked with traveling to the Chicago offices in order to learn first-hand the Board’s operations, including how the examinations were administered, how the Board’s committees functioned, and how the accounting files were managed. Patti was also responsible for organizing and cataloging all of the furniture, candidate/diplomate files, and computer equipment for the move. By the time the operations were officially moved to Chapel Hill, the staff had grown from two to four.
Patti has, in one way or another, been responsible for almost every aspect of the ABOS’s examination operations over her 23-plus years with the Board. Today Patti oversees aspects of the operations that pertain to the administration of the examinations and our relationship with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Patti’s years of experience enable her to step in and help our constituents when an unusual circumstance arises.
While the other three original staff are all North Carolina natives, Patti was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After a 4-year detour to Miami, Florida, where Patti admits to spending an equal amount of time in college classes and at the beach, she was married and a subsequent business opportunity brought her and her new husband to Chapel Hill. After a period of “southern culture shock,” Patti became enamored with the area and resolved never to leave Chapel Hill.
Patti has a son who is in college and a daughter who lives in the area with her husband and three children. Being from a the great basketball state of Indiana, and living in the best basketball state in the country (North Carolina) for over 25 years, Patti has a passion for college basketball; she has been known through the years to round up neighborhood children to play a few games. It was great to see Patti’s competitive spirit during the ACC and NCAA basketball tournaments this year. When not at work, Patti can be found playing with her grandchildren or outside working in her garden.
In the upcoming issues we will tell you more about other ABOS staff members. We hope that these articles will give each of you a little more insight into the staff who work hard to keep you informed of the ABOS requirements and your certification status. Patti, myself, and the entire ABOS are here to assist in you in any way we can. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of them if we can assist you further.