From Wachter’s World, which he prefaces with:
As a member of the executive committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine, I can’t provide too much of the inside scoop, so I’ll mainly point you to the published descriptions of a remarkable case: that of one Dr. Arora, who ran an ABIM board review course with a difference.
Good for the ABIM. If you need to cheat to pass the Boards, you don’t need to be Board Certified.
Philadelphia, PA, June 9, 2010 – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) took formal action today to sanction 139 physicians for soliciting or sharing confidential examination questions used to certify doctors in internal medicine and its subspecialties. ABIM has also initiated legal action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania last week against five physicians who were among the most egregious offenders.
Through an extensive investigation, ABIM established that the physicians being sanctioned shared or solicited actual ABIM examination questions – a significant breach in the professional standards ABIM requires of all of its board-certified physicians and any physician taking the exam for certification. Hundreds of questions were compromised and immediately removed from the ABIM exam question pool.
For the test to mean something, it has to be, you know, a test. Not a test where you remember the question and know that answer, but a test wherein, when faced with a question, you know the substance of the material, are able to apply reasoning skills and arrive at the correct result.
I’d think the hospitals these docs practice at (and the states that license them) would be very interested in the circumstances surrounding their loss of board certification. They could very conceivably lose more than their boards…