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Medical School Performance Predicts Licensing Board Action

Those with low professionalism rating at school more likely to be disciplined when practicing

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Medical students who have low scores for professionalism are more likely to face disciplinary action by state licensing boards later in their careers, according to a report published in the June 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Maxine A. Papadakis, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 66,171 physicians who attained their medical diploma, having entered internal medicine residency training from 1990 to 2000. Components of the Residents' Annual Evaluation Summary ratings and American Board of Internal Medicine certification examination scores were used to assess performance.

A low rating for professionalism increased the risk of disciplinary action (hazard ratio, 1.7) and a high score decreased the risk (hazard ratio, 0.7), the researchers report. The risk of subsequent disciplinary actions increased as exam scores and professionalism ratings declined, the investigators found.

"We have shown that both behavioral and cognitive performance measures during residency training can predict problematic performance in practicing physicians and that there is a continuum of performance," the authors write. "Our findings support the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education standard for successful performance in both residency and practice, and support the development of best practices for helping residents address deficiencies in these standards."

Three co-authors are employed by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

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