Initial Certification / Residency

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    In-Training Examination

    All ACGME-accredited Family Medicine programs are eligible to take the In-Training Examination, which is given annually during the last week of October. The purpose of the examination is to provide an assessment of each resident's progress, while also providing programs with comparative data about the program as a whole.

    The examination consists of 240 multiple-choice questions and uses a content outline which is identical to the blueprint for the ABFM Certification Examination. (Click here to download the ITE content outline.) The examination includes 4–8 pictorial items, which may be radiographs, EKGs, pictures of dermatologic conditions, or other images. The questions for the examination are written by certified family physicians who may be in either academic medicine or private practice. Before the questions are published, they are reviewed by a committee consisting mostly of current or former residency program directors.

    Residents may take the examination in one of two formats: traditional pencil and paper, or over the Internet. The ABFM hopes to expand participation in the Internet-based version during 2011 and 2012 as the examination will be delivered solely via computer over the Internet in 2013.

    After the examination is given, residents can download a document from their physician portfolio which contains answers and critiques for all the questions on the exam. These critiques provide a brief rationale for the answer, and also include a recent reference to document the information and provide a source for additional reading.

    The examination is scored using statistical analyses similar to those used for the ABFM Certification Examination. One difference, however, is that there is no passing score, since the examination is given to assess progress. Residents consistently show gains each year of their residency, with the biggest gain occurring between years 1 and 2.

    Scores are usually available within 6 weeks of the examination date. Program directors can access the scores through the ABFM's Resident Training Management web page. The score reports are nearly identical to those provided to Certification candidates.

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