Sure, though I contend it wasn't poorly written. Shade aside, I can't say if this decision is certainly good or bad. What I can say is that my professional life focuses on performance evaluation and it's essential to have tests that provide meaningful data, and that the data are relevant to desired outcomes. So:
Additionally, the response to this decision here and elsewhere seems to center on two main arguments:
- Does a better score on a single test accurately represent intelligence/dedication/capacity for learning?
- Does a better score correlate with being a better resident, and a better physician?
Neither of these arguments really hold water. Change happens, and everyone needs to settle with that. Maybe yesterday's physicians look upon today's with disdain because everyone sub-specializes and back in their day they'd give a patient a swig of whiskey and tell them to bite down hard before amputating a leg using a spoon. Side note: if Jenny McJennyson could pass the test and get a high score, what does that say about Jenny's preparation and the test? As for the PDs/APDs, is board score stratification effective & accurate, or simply a convenient way to not look at 700 applications?
- I earned my way to where I'm at through blood, sweat, tears, and unsanctioned bare-knuckle boxing matches. If any aspect of the process changes after I went through it, everyone coming after me is an unqualified snowflake.
- I get 1200 applications for 8 slots and I have absolutely no way to evaluate all of those applications. I understand that people are more complex than test scores and that high scores don't always net the best residents/physicians, but I have no other tool by which to evaluate candidates that won't take literally 7 years every application year.
Do ABEM scores correlate to on-the-job performance? Are higher-scoring physicians better, or is everyone accepted equally because they've all passed the test and you evaluate performance based on how they actually do their jobs and not how they take tests? What if EM docs were compensated based solely on board score?
1. Jenny couldn't pass the test.
2. You're missing the fact that the old-timey physicians didn't have the sophisticated knowledge that we know have. Hell, immunology was "new" in the 80s. There were no "biologics" (drugs) until the 90s. There was no "personalized cancer care" until the new millennium. Thus, we need to sub-and-sub-sub-specialize.
3. ABEM scores do correlate to on-the-job performance. You need to know what you need to know.