Endocrine Society’s In-Training Exam Predicts Fellows’ Success on ABIM Board Exam 

Endocrinology fellows and their program directors can use performance on the Endocrine Society’s in-training self-assessment tool to gauge how likely fellows are to pass the American Board of Internal Medicine-Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Certification Examination (ABIM-ECE), according to a new study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society. 

 The study found clinical endocrinology fellows’ performance on the Society’s Endocrine In-Training Examination (ITE) is a robust predictive tool for pass/fail outcomes on the ABIM-ECE, which is required by many employers, hospitals, and payers. The analysis examined results from 982 fellows who participated in ITE between 2016 and 2019. 

“Program directors and fellows can feel confident knowing that the ITE is the field’s best tool to assess what topics fellows have mastered and to identify areas for additional training,” says one of the study’s authors, Alan C. Dalkin, MD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va. Dalkin is a member of the Society’s ITE Steering Group. 

“We are proud that our In-Training Exam is the premier self-assessment tool for training the next generation of endocrinologists,” Dalkin says. 

The ITE is part of the Society’s Fellows Training Series, a comprehensive curriculum designed to provide support to fellows and program directors around the globe. This case-based tool covers the topics that appear on the ABIM Board Exam. 

The leading self-assessment tool for clinical endocrinology fellows, ITE features 90 multiple choice questions designed to evaluate how well a fellow is progressing through their clinical education. These questions are developed by an expert panel annually, which in turn generates a completely new exam each year. This approach is different from any other medical subspecialty.  

Following the exam, fellows-in-training and fellowship programs receive performance feedback that includes all questions and answers along with learning objectives and references for each question. This unique approach provides open access to all questions and answers after the exam is administered, allowing fellows and program directors to identify specific areas for improvement and develop learner-specific remediation plans, as well as a way for program directors to assess their overall program.  

“I recently completed fellowship training in 2019 and took the ITE each year,” says the study’s first author, William B. Horton, MD, MSc, FACP, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. “The exam was very helpful for assessment of medical knowledge and played a valuable role in my development, but I could find no information about its relationship to board certification while preparing for the ABIM exam. This study helps answer that question and provides useful data for fellows as they prepare to take the board exam.” 

 Other authors of the study include: James T. Patrie, MSc, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va.; Lauren M. Duhigg, MPH, of the American Board of Internal Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa.; Maggie Graham, BA, of the Endocrine Society in Washington, D.C.; Mark W. True, MD, of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas; and Elaine M. Pelley, MD, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisc.  

 The manuscript“Novel Formative Approach of the ESAP-ITE Provides Strong Predictive Value for ABIM Certification Outcomes,” was published online.