Impatient Practicum

In his April 2017 Editor’s Corner, Editor-in-Chief Mikkael Sekeres issued his annual missive to the American Board of Internal Medicine (“Letter from a Cleveland Jail to the ABIM: Patient Practicum”). The ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification examination is a hotly debated topic, so it was not surprising to receive strong reactions from our readers.  Below are a couple of responses we received in the inbox.

Kudos to Dr. Sekeres for vividly demonstrating the frustration many of us experience in being asked by our credentialing overlords to exhibit expertise across the entire field, as we become more concentrated in our treatment and research practices, and as we rely more on colleagues and specialists in the field to optimally deal with these patients.
However, his most poignant message is to first understand the patient – who “has” the disease, and “isn’t” the disease – allowing us as physicians to be able to adequately and personally treat them. Questions on a timed exam do not evaluate, as he stated, “nuances.”

Sandra Silberman, MD, PhD
SLSOncology, LLC
Durham, NC

I’d like to commend you on voicing the thoughts of a very large group of hematologists/oncologists out there! The message has been out there for a while now, but you have clearly demonstrated the ridiculousness and uselessness of computerized testing with your clever editorial. I hope it impacts the folks at ABIM!

Caroline Hwang-Gerecs, MD
New York, NY
Recertifying for Oncology in November 2017