March 15, 2020 - Research

Published: Should There Be A Part II ABPMR Examination?: A Psychometric Inquiry

Summary by Anthony Chiodo, MD

Board certification by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) requires passing both a written multiple choice examination (Part I) and an oral examination (Part II). A recent article demonstrated that although there is overlap between the two exams, that the two exams contribute different and meaningful components to the overall evaluation of candidates for board certification in PM&R.

Using de-identified Part I and Part II exam scores from 4,114 candidates between 2005 and 2016 with a more detailed analysis of candidates between 2014-2016, it was demonstrated that there is a moderately strong correlation between performance on the Part I and Part II examination, r=.33, p < .001. The highest correlation was with problem solving and patient management, lowest for interpersonal communication skills and then system-based practice. Therefore, it was not entirely surprising that a principal components analysis demonstrated that there is an additional dimension of assessment on the Part II examination, primarily in the domains of Systems Based Practice and Interpersonal Communication Skills.

Prior research has demonstrated that the Part I examination measures one dimension of a candidate’s ability and medical knowledge in PM&R (Raddatz M. Robinson LR. Demonstrating Construct Validity of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Part I Examination: An Analysis of Dimensionality. PMRJ 2017; 9(10):985-989). The weaker relationship between the Part I and Part II examinations may be an indication that medical knowledge is necessary but not sufficient for success on the Part II examination. The critical elements evaluated on the Part II examination are key skills needed for the independent practice of PM&R.

Click on the link below to read the abstract or download the full article.

Should There Be A Part II ABPMR Examination?: A Psychometric Inquiry

Chiodo AE, Raddatz MM, Driscoll SW, Sliwa JA, Clark GS, Robinson LR. Should There Be A Part II ABPMR Examination?: A Psychometric Inquiry. PM R. 2019 Oct;11(10):1115-1120.