Current Editors: Keith Wagner and Michael Ryan

Past Editors: Tim Allen, Kristyna Gleghorn, Dung Mac, Alex Acosta, William Tausend, Sheila Jalalat, Rebecca Philips, Chelsea Altinger, Lindsey Hunter, Alison Wiesenthal, Leslie Scroggins, Mara Dacso, Ashley Group, Fadi Constantine, Emily Fridlington, Joslyn Witherspoon, Tasneem Poonawalla.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Utility and Cost of Dermatology Certification Examination Questioned

A resident podium presentation by Texas A&M Scott &White at the Texas Dermatological Society 2016 spring meeting in Houston explored the costs and value of the annual certification examination given by the American Board of Dermatology (Mansouri B, Walker GD, Fiala K. The estimated cost and overall value of the American Board of Dermatology Certification Exam, April 15, 2016). In recent years, the failure rate for first time test takers has been low (below 2%).  The authors reported that that cost of failing the exam ranged from $204,000 to $1.6 million. Cost cutting measures were suggested, including use of the ITE examination offered by the American Board of Dermatology throughout all three years of residency training instead of the certification examination that is given each summer following completion of residency. Perhaps certification could be more efficiently achieved by receiving a certain “cutoff” score (20th percentile?) on each of three ITE tests during the three years of residency. That strategy would limit expensive testing with a low failure rate to “at risk” candidates who have not consistently performed well on the ITE examination throughout dermatology residency.