Emergency medicine practice environment and impact on concert examination performance

Catherine A. Marco, Robert P. Wahl, James D. Thomas, Ramon W. Johnson, Oscar Ma, Anne L. Harvey, Earl J. Reisdorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The ABEM ConCert Examination is a summative examination that ABEM-certified physicians are required to pass once in every 10-year cycle to maintain certification. This study was undertaken to identify practice settings of emergency physicians, and to determine if there was a difference in performance on the 2017 ConCert between physicians of differing practice types and settings. Methods: This was a mixed methods cross sectional-study, using a post-examination survey and test performance data. All physicians taking the 2017 ConCert Examination who completed three survey questions pertaining to practice type, practice locations, and teaching were included. These three questions address different aspects of academia: self-identification, an academic setting, and whether the physician teaches. Results: Among 2796 test administrations of the 2017 ConCert Examination, 2693 (96.3%) completed the three survey questions about practice environment. The majority (N = 2054; 76.3%) self-identified as primarily being a community physician, 528 (19.6%) as academic, and 111 (4.1%) as other. The average ConCert Examination score for community physicians was 83.5 (95% CI, 83.3–83.8); the academic group was 84.8 (95% CI, 84.3–85.3); and the other group was 82.3 (95% CI, 81.1–83.6). After controlling for initial ability as measured by the Qualifying Examination score, there was no significant difference in performance between academic and community physicians (p =.10). Conclusions: Academic emergency physicians and community emergency physicians scored similarly on the ConCert. Working at a community teaching hospital was associated with higher examination performance. Teaching medical learners, especially non-emergency medicine residents, was also associated with better examination performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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