Mitigating Implicit Biases in Certification Programs

ABMS Insights (04/05/21)

Speakers at the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Conference 2020 said ABMS Member Boards can mitigate implicit biases in medical education, residency, and certification programs. Steps include elevating and prioritizing mitigation; engaging multiple stakeholders; providing training on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and health disparities; and developing policy positions and improvement pathways that weed out structural racism in healthcare. The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) has updated its Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA) content outline to incorporate healthcare disparities and DEI, and will launch related MOCA Minute questions this year. ABA also will initiate the collection of race/ethnicity data from candidates and diplomates to enable research on exam performance and outcomes based on demographic data, including for a collaborative analysis with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Meanwhile the American Board of Surgery has sought to mitigate bias in oral exams through bias training to all examiners and ongoing dialogue.

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