Dr. Reinhart’s examination standards of excellence have made an invaluable contribution to ABEM’s overall reputation, said Dean Wilkerson, ACEP’s executive director.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 29 – No 01 – January 2010
“Mary Ann has helped create a process for physicians who come through residency to prove their knowledge and skill, and then with their recertification to make sure they’re staying at a high standard for our specialty,” he said.
“She has helped position ABEM to where it’s now regarded as one of the best specialty boards in medicine,” he added. “Therefore, there’s a confidence that emergency physicians who are board certified have undoubtedly earned that credential.”
LLSA and the Online Shift
In bringing ABEM’s Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA) to fruition in 2004—one of the four components of the ABMS’ “Maintenance of Certification®” process—ABEM shifted from paper-and-pencil to Internet- and computer-delivered testing and developed more flexible item banking, scoring, and oral examination scheduling systems.
These changes allowed ABEM to accommodate fluctuating numbers of candidates and increase flexibility about when and how examinations are delivered.
“We recognized that the only way we could deal with the breadth of the LLSA program was by having it work for our diplomates in an online system, and allowing them to access it anytime they wanted to,” said Dr. Reinhart. “It was a huge challenge to make that shift from pencil-and-paper to the Internet for such a complex, high-stakes assessment system.”
During this time, ABEM also substantially increased its subspecialty-related activities, joining nine other ABMS member boards in 2006 to sponsor a subspecialty in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
In addition, thanks largely to Dr. Perina and Dr. Reinhart’s work with content experts and other ABMS member boards, ABMS is currently considering ABEM’s application for an Emergency Medical Services subspecialty, which is expected to be approved during the coming year. ABEM content experts are also hard at work with the American Board of Internal Medicine, assisted by Dr. Reinhart, developing an application for joint internal medicine/critical care subspecialty recognition.
The Future of ABEM
As she looked toward the future, Dr. Reinhart said such relationships are vital for ABEM’s future.
“I believe it’s critical for ABEM to continue to maintain its positive working relationships with other emergency medicine organizations. We are one specialty, and we must work together to keep emergency medicine strong and to keep our standards high,” she said. “In addition, it will be important for our board to maintain its positive and productive working relationships with the other ABMS member boards, and to keep a strong and influential position with the ABMS itself.”