Another satisfied ABEM Diplomate

I get emails after bemoaning the inefficient / laughable requirements being imposed by ABEM for continuous certification, and while I thank them for writing I’m not interested in being the Lonely Critic who Wails at ABEM.

So, allow me to publish (with their permission) someone elses’ lament at the current state of ABEM:

Thank you so much about your column about ABEM! It is making me feel like I am not the only one going thru this. We have 150 hours of CME required now, 4 through my state, 8 through my insurance, and now I find we can’t count the LLSA’s as continuous ed! Plus the articles in LLSA are horrible.

I took my CONCERT this year and the scores still aren’t out 8 weeks later for a computerized test. Someone needs to rise up against ABEM, they are not our advocates. I felt like maybe ACEP can help but I don’t think they can. ABEM I think is run by a lot of ivory tower guys who work 4 shifts a month in a University Hospital with the residents doing all the work. Thanks again for your columns!

One of my colleagues recently took the recertification test, which is now computer-based, and his description was less than flattering. “It’s like they scanned a photograph of a slide, and then uploaded that for the test”. He’s also about 8 weeks out from the test, and awaiting his scores…

I don’t want to be the anti-ABEM forum (is EMED-L still around?) but when I get emails like this it tells me I’m not alone in wanting ABEM to perform better. Significantly better.


  1. I suggest you fill out a scathing post test press-ganey satisfaction survey!
    Just kidding, sort of….
    Dr. J

  2. I recertified this year, and 1 finally got my scores this week. I found the test to be generally a waste of time. Most questions that I didn’t know I would have looked up online in about 30 seconds on “up to date” or something. Many of the pictures were awful, but the whole testing environment is a hassle. I actually found out I passed the test before I got the scores as ABEM updated my certification status a week before I got the scores!

  3. Not long ago I ran into a former instructor who is part of ABEM, and he was very unhappy that I had written articles critical of it. He basically said (to paraphrase), ‘everybody is doing it and we have to do it, and it’s not that big a deal and if you value board certification, you’ll do it.’ Then he asked me if I was happy, because he thought my columns suggested I was not. Everyone take a happy pill! Criticism is negative energy! War is Peace! Ignorance is bliss!

    Look, almost anyone who has spent time on the LLSA knows it’s a huge annoyance with little to no benefit. It’s one more hoop to jump through, one more check to write, one more regulation and rule to follow. And it suggests that none of us were interested in learning before the LLSA. Further, that we were incompetent to learn what we needed. And finally, it implies (with ironically no evidence) that we’ll be better doctors for doing it! Show me the study!