Motivations for Participating in ABFM's Continuing Certification Program
New research has found that half of family physicians seeking to continue their ABFM certification in 2017 cited requirements by employers or hospitals among their reasons for participating in certification. However, only 17.3% report doing so solely because of such extrinsic motivators. More than 50% of 7,545 family physicians completing their examination registration questionnaire also included intrinsic motivations, such as the program helping them with professional advancement, maintaining medical knowledge, or because of personal preference, as reasons for continuing to seek certification. More than 20% reported only intrinsic reasons for doing so. Overall, the majority of physicians included a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic drivers motivating their participation in continuing board certification.
This is important data given that continuing certification programs have been criticized by some physicians as not being relevant to practice, not improving patient care, or creating additional burdens on physicians. Study authors note "Our findings place in context the anecdotes of physicians who report continuing their certification out of a requirement for employment, privileging or payment, with more than half reporting additional intrinsic motivators—including nearly one in five who report only intrinsic motivations for holding themselves to the high standards of board certification."
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