What is included in this report?
This report provides a summary of all program performances on ABOG's Specialty Certifying Exam (CE), using aggregated data about graduates' performance. A graduate is included in a program's data if they were a first-time taker of the exam and completed training at the program prior to taking the exam.
What are the limitations of the data?
Many factors influence a program's performance on the CE, and it is important to take into context these limitations when examining the data.
The data represents candidates who took the ABOG CE for the first time over a three-year interval. This interval is used because it helps prevent the identification of individual candidates and creates an aggregate performance over a three-year period. This time frame is used by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for one component of residency program accreditation.
The program performance report for the ABOG CE may not reflect the performance of the most recent or current residents in a program. There are many reasons for this:
- Candidates for certification must pass the computer-based OB GYN Qualifying Exam (QE) before taking the CE. So, the cohort of first-time CE candidates is a group that has passed the first step toward certification.
- The OB GYN QE is completed by most residency graduates in July following graduation after completing a four-year residency. The OB GYN CE includes personal practice assessment after independent practice for at least a year. This means that most CE candidates take the exam at least one or two years after completion of a residency.
- Some first-time CE candidates delay this examination due to illness, personal time off, family priorities, expense, and subspecialty fellowship training.
Having stated the above, this would mean, for example, that a program from the 2020, 2021, and 2022 CE cohorts are likely to be graduates during the 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20 academic years.
Program factors impacting performance may include the curriculum, teaching, faculty, and training. Smaller programs will have less stable results due to fewer examinees taking the exam, so caution should be exercised when interpreting exam performance. In addition, if significant changes in the program have occurred within the three-year period, pass rates may not fully reflect these changes. Examinee factors may also influence a program's performance. For example, since examinees may have been out of the program for a year or more, maturation effects (i.e., examinees gaining knowledge from elsewhere, losing knowledge gained within the program) may have occurred, impacting interpretations of results.
These data should only be interpreted in the context of the limitations provided above, and one should use caution where needed.
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