November 26, 2019

ABA Advances Mission through Research

Raleigh, N.C. (Nov. 26, 2019)  This month, Anesthesia & Analgesia published three research articles by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) that examine the validity and value of board certification.

The first piece of research, “The American Board of Anesthesiology’s Staged Examination System and Performance on the Written Certification Examination After Residency, examines anesthesiology residency graduates’ performance on the written examinations for board certification before and after the introduction of the staged examination system. Our research found that the staged examination system is associated with improved medical knowledge of anesthesiologists. We believe this is due to residents studying more and earlier during training.

The second article, “The American Board of Anesthesiology’s Standardized Oral Examination for Initial Board Certification,” chronicles the history and evolution of the oral examination since its first administration in 1939. Although 14 of the 24 American Board of Medical Specialties Member Boards use oral examinations as part of the certifying process, this is the first paper to provide a detailed description of how the exam is developed, administered and scored. The oral exam is designed to assess a higher level of clinical competency on the Miller’s pyramid – from “knows” to “knows how” – and evidence suggests that it accomplishes this goal.

The third article published this month, “Association Between Participation and Performance in MOCA Minute and Actions Against the Medical Licenses of Anesthesiologists” discovered that timely participation in our longitudinal assessment, MOCA Minute®, and meeting the standard were associated with lower incidences of disciplinary action. This suggests that these attributes serve as markers for physician characteristics associated with lower risk of such actions. Reviewing medical license actions is one known and accepted research method used to identify physicians’ performance deficiencies. We launched MOCA Minute in 2016 as part of our continuing certification program.

This year, peer-reviewed journals have published five ABA research articles—two related to initial certification, two about continuing certification and one regarding physician wellbeing. One of our Board’s goals is to advance excellence in anesthesiology practice by supporting evidence-based research that explores research questions associated with certification.

About the American Board of Anesthesiology
The mission of the American Board of Anesthesiology® (ABA) is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, the ABA is committed to partnering with physicians to advance lifelong learning and exceptional patient care. The Board administers initial and subspecialty certification exams as well as the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology® (MOCA®) program, which is designed to promote lifelong learning, a commitment to quality clinical outcomes and patient safety. Based in Raleigh, N.C., the ABA is a nonprofit organization and a Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

ABA Media Contact
Michelle Taylor
Director of Marketing and Communications