Cameron

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How much should board passrates figure into a residency decision? The two top programs on my list have very different passrates. The one that is arguably more "prestigious" has a passrate in the mid 70's, while the other is in the mid 90's. Does this speak mostly of the quality of the lectures? How concerned should I be about the program with passrates in the 70's?

FYI -- the passrates I'm mentioning are found here
 

SoonerBJJ

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Board pass rates can be difficult to interpret. People may fail the boards for many reasons, some more understandable than others. I believe the yearly data includes past graduates who are taking the boards either late or as repeats (in which case they count against the program in multiple years).

The one grad from our program that failed last year was one of the best residents who just happened to be in a fellowship that allowed her NO time to study. She may have been overconfident and didn't want to spend her few waking moments away from work studying. She got into a competitive fellowship based on her merits from medical school and residency, but blew the boards. Expensive mistake. Many fellowships may make an allowance for some study time or at least a day off before the 2 day boards. Some do not. Know this in advance so you can make your study schedule accordingly.

Back to your original question. Board pass rates can be misleading. A program can only do so much to prepare it's residents for the boards. It comes down to personal dedication and committment from there. I think there are better criteria for judging programs. I might raise the question if the rate were too low, but within a wide range I wouldn't worry too much about it. JMHO.
 

kas23

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These pass rates also include med-peds residents. Not to knock them, but they have less experience with peds medicine due to the structure of their programs.
 

jeffreydsolomon

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kas23 said:
These pass rates also include med-peds residents. Not to knock them, but they have less experience with peds medicine due to the structure of their programs.
I respectfully disagree with your comment; it's simply not true.

For all med–peds graduates tracked by the ABP, 82% of the 1,031 med–peds residents completing training from 1998–2000 took the ABP certifying examination. The pass rate for first-time takers was 87% over these three years (Frohna JG, Melgar T, Mueller C, Borden S. Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Training: Current Program Trends and Outcomes. Academic Medicine 2004;79:591-596).

However, the ABP certification examination pass rate for all first-time test takers in 1998 was only 80% (Tunnessen WW, Guerin RO, Stockman JA. Pediatric workforce: data from the American Board of Pediatrics. The Journal of Pediatrics 2001; 139:311-6).

Thus, the ABP certification exam pass rates for med-peds graduates are equal to (accounting for confidence intervals) if not better than their categorical counterparts.
 

kas23

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jeffreydsolomon said:
I respectfully disagree with your comment; it's simply not true.

For all med–peds graduates tracked by the ABP, 82% of the 1,031 med–peds residents completing training from 1998–2000 took the ABP certifying examination. The pass rate for first-time takers was 87% over these three years (Frohna JG, Melgar T, Mueller C, Borden S. Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Training: Current Program Trends and Outcomes. Academic Medicine 2004;79:591-596).

However, the ABP certification examination pass rate for all first-time test takers in 1998 was only 80% (Tunnessen WW, Guerin RO, Stockman JA. Pediatric workforce: data from the American Board of Pediatrics. The Journal of Pediatrics 2001; 139:311-6).

Thus, the ABP certification exam pass rates for med-peds graduates are equal to (accounting for confidence intervals) if not better than their categorical counterparts.
I was only saying this about one particular program, but it could very well apply to other programs too. At my interview, I brought up their lower ABP pass rates and when they ran the numbers (by separating their categoricals from the med-peds residents), the PD told me it was due to their med-peds people having the lower scores. But, obviously, from what you posted, this is not a fact you can generalize to all programs. However, this program is a very well respected one (top 20 at least in both IM and peds).
 

lag05

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hi,
I'm curious to know which program, I applied to both peds and med/peds. You can PM me if you like. Thanks.



kas23 said:
I was only saying this about one particular program, but it could very well apply to other programs too. At my interview, I brought up their lower ABP pass rates and when they ran the numbers (by separating their categoricals from the med-peds residents), the PD told me it was due to their med-peds people having the lower scores. But, obviously, from what you posted, this is not a fact you can generalize to all programs. However, this program is a very well respected one (top 20 at least in both IM and peds).