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The American Board of Family Medicine's Data Collection Method for Tracking Their Specialty.

Peterson, Lars E; Fang, Bo; Phillips, Robert L; Avant, Robert; Puffer, James C.
J Am Board Fam Med; 32(1): 89-95, 2019 Jan-Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Jan 2019 | ID: mdl-30610146
Resumo: BACKGROUND: Medical certifying boards' core mission is assuring the public that Diplomates have the requisite knowledge, skills, and professional character to provide high-quality medical care. By understanding their Diplomates' workforce and practice environments, Boards ensure that certification is relevant to the profession and accountable to the public. Current and reliable data are key to meeting this function. The objective of this article was to describe American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) data collection procedures and demonstrate the capacity to compare cohorts by examination year. METHODS: We used data from ABFM examination application practice demographic questionnaires from 2013 to 2016. Descriptive and bivariate statistics assessed variation in Diplomate and certification candidate characteristics across examination cohorts. RESULTS: From 2013 to 2016, 55,532 family physicians applied for either initial certification (n = 15,388) or to continue their certification (n = 40,144). Diplomate characteristics varied slightly from year to year with more International Medical Graduates and fewer men in later cohorts but, these differences were not large between cohorts. Initial certification candidates were more likely to be women, and racial or ethnic minorities than Diplomates seeking to continue their certification, and each year's cohort was characterized by increasing numbers of female and US medical graduates. DISCUSSION: Data collected from Diplomates as part of examination registration have proved invaluable to serving the mission of the ABFM and advancing knowledge about the specialty of family medicine. Continued refinement of data collection to enhance data reliability and usefulness, while reducing collection burden, will continue.