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ACP Internal Medicine In-Training Examination

Coming Sept. 2014: the Web-based IM-ITE!

The Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE), developed by the American College of Physicians in collaboration with the Alliance for Academic Internal MedicineTM (AAIMTM), will be given in a Web-based format for the first time in September 2014.

Chief Proctors WebEx Video

The following WebEx recording provides an overview of how to prepare for and administer the upcoming ACP Internal Medicine In-Training Examination. The WebEx begins with a slide presentation, followed by demos of the Workstation Certification process and the Chief Proctor Resource Site. During the demos you will learn how to test your computers for web-based testing compatibility, start the exam session on test day, add walk-in examinees, monitor the exam, report incidents and irregularities, and end the exam session on test day.

Access the WebEx Now

As a reminder, please be sure to review the recorded WebEx in conjunction with your Chief Proctorís Manual to ensure that you are prepared to administer the upcoming Internal Medicine In-Training Examination.

Sample the Practice Exam

2014 Dates to Remember

Internal Medicine In-Training Exam

Registration Opens: June 2, 2014
Registration Closes: July 18, 2014
Chief Proctor Webcast: August 12, 2014: 2:00 pm EST (USA, Canada & the Caribbean) and 7:30 pm EST (Asia)
Chief Proctor Webcast: August 13, 2014: 2:00 pm EST (USA, Canada, and the Caribbean)
Chief Proctor Webcast: August 14, 2014: 9:00 am EST (Europe and the Middle East)
Exam Administration Dates: September 2-18, 2014

Future IM-ITE Test Dates

2015: September 8-24, 2015
2016: September 6-22, 2016

About the IM-ITE

The IM-ITE is designed to:

  • Give residents an opportunity for self-assessment.
  • Give program directors the opportunity to evaluate their programs.
  • Identify areas in which residents need extra assistance.
How is the IM-ITE developed?
  • The IM-ITE is written by a committee of 11 expert physician-authors, including four representatives from the American College of Physicians and six representatives from the Alliance for Academic Internal MedicineTM (AAIMTM). The final committee member is a rotating representative from one of these two organizations.

    Preparation for the IM-ITE begins 18 months before administration. The committee writes questions based on the content blueprint and according to well-established principles of exam construction. The questions undergo several reviews and revisions.

    The internal medicine questions are written at the level of proficiency expected from second-year residents and cover a wide spectrum of knowledge in internal medicine, including acute and chronic care, in-patient and ambulatory problems, and essential clinical skills. The exam emphasizes a range of content areas considered important during the training of a general internist, including cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general internal medicine (including, but not limited to, dermatology, ophthalmology, preventive medicine, psychiatry, geriatrics, women's health, nutrition, medical ethics, and biostatistics), geriatric medicine, hematology/oncology, infectious diseases, nephrology, neurology, pulmonary and critical care medicine, and rheumatology.

What is the blueprint for the IM-ITE?
  • The blueprint for the IM-ITE, shown below, is modeled after the blueprint for the American Board of Internal Medicineís certification exam.

    2014 Internal Medicine In-Training Exam Blueprint

    Content Areas Percentage of Multiple-Choice Questions
    Cardiology 13.5%
    Endocrinology 6.5%
    Gastroenterology 9.5%
    General Internal Medicine 15%
    Geriatric Medicine 6%
    Hematology/Oncology 11.5%
    Infectious Diseases 9%
    Nephrology 6%
    Neurology 4%
    Pulmonology/Critical Care Medicine 10%
    Rheumatology 9%
    Total 100%
What is the purpose of the IM-ITE?
  • Residents may use the results to identify areas of deficiency that require further learning, to compare their performance with that of their peers in training programs throughout the world, and to help career choices. Program directors may use the results to provide educational counseling to residents, develop curricula, and validate the need for planned curricular changes. Physicians may use the results to help them prepare for the maintenance of certification examination.
Can the IM-ITE be used for advancement?
  • The examination is neither a qualifying nor a certifying instrument. It should not be used for determining who should be promoted, who should be eligible to take the American Board of Internal Medicine certifying examination, or who may be qualified for post-residency fellowship training. It is designed only as a self-assessment tool.

    However, program directors are encouraged to include IM-ITE results in semi-annual reviews of resident performance and reporting on attributes of the Medical Knowledge competency. As part of the Internal Medicine Milestone Project, this activity may contribute to a residency programís participation in the Next Accreditation System (NAS) to determine the overall progress of residents. However, the release of any score, either at an individual or aggregate level, to any person or organization outside the residency program, is strictly prohibited. Who Should Take the IM-ITE?

    The IM-ITE is designed for residents at the midpoint in their training, but residents at all postgraduate training years are encouraged to participate. In addition, faculty members, program directors, and other physicians and health care professionals with an interest in internal medicine may take the examination to test their medical knowledge against that of residents or to prepare for the maintenance of certification exam.

    The program director decides who will take the exam. The sponsoring organizations impose no requirements. More than 20,000 residents from all but a few residency programs in the United States participate in the exam. The IM-ITE is also taken by more than 2,500 participants in 14 countries.

Who should take the IM-ITE?
  • The IM-ITE is designed for residents at the midpoint in their training, but residents at all postgraduate training years are encouraged to participate. In addition, faculty members, program directors, and other physicians and health care professionals with an interest in internal medicine may take the examination to test their medical knowledge against that of residents or to prepare for the maintenance of certification exam.

    The program director decides who will take the exam. The sponsoring organizations impose no requirements. More than 20,000 residents from all but a few residency programs in the United States participate in the exam. The IM-ITE is also taken by more than 2,500 participants in 14 countries.

Should residents study for the IM-ITE?
  • The goal of the IM-ITE is to gauge progress in training, not to achieve a certain level of performance. Examinees, therefore, are advised not to study for the exam. Studying may result in an inaccurate self-assessment of the training experience and an inability to plan appropriately for correcting deficiencies.

Are second-year residents required to take the IM-ITE before other residents?
  • The IM-ITE is administered annually at each training site during a prescribed period. The 2014 IM-ITE will be administered September 2-18, 2014, including Sunday, September 7, and Sunday, September 14, 2014. Program directors select the day within this period that is most convenient for them. If the examination cannot be administered to all residents on the same day, programs are encouraged to administer it to second-year residents initially, although this is no longer a requirement.

    The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure uniform, secure examination administration conditions, which are important if the exam is to provide accurate scores and norms for gauging resident and program performance.

How many questions are included in the IM-ITE?
  • The 2014 IM-ITE will consist of 340 items.

How is the IM-ITE scored?
  • Independent scoring is conducted to identify flawed questions, which are not included in the final score; this process is known as key validation. A final score is determined by the total number of questions that are answered correctly. There is no penalty for guessing. Answering all questions, even when there is doubt about the correct answers, maximizes the likelihood that the score reflects the breadth of the examinee's knowledge of the field.

    A score is reported as a percentage of total questions answered correctly. Because the examination is an educational exercise, no specified level of performance is considered a passing level, and no one can fail the examination.

When are the results of the IM-ITE made available?
  • A link to online score reports will be made available in November 2014. The program director accesses a score report Web site and distributes the score reports to the examinees. The American College of Physicians and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine consider the results to be confidential and do not release them to any agency, organization, or person other than the program director.

    Each examinee receives a report that shows:

    • The individualís total percent correct score and percentile rank.
    • Percent score and percentile rank for each of the 11 major content areas tested.
    • A list of test questions answered incorrectly.
    • A norm table and guidelines for interpreting the data for use in comparing his or her score with the scores of different resident groups.
    • A booklet describing the educational objective for every test question.

    The program director receives:

    • A score report and list of questions missed for each resident.
    • An overall program performance report.
    • Mean percent correct scores and percentile ranks for each of the 11 major content areas tested, grouped by first-year residents (PGY-1), second-year residents (PGY-2), third-year residents (PGY-3), and all other residents.
    • Examinee and program performance graphs.
    • The norm table with guidelines for interpreting the data.
    • The educational objective for every test question.
    • Electronic results that can be downloaded into Excel or similar software program, allowing program directors to keep track of their program's results over a period of years.

 

More Questions? Contact ACP by phone or email.

For general information about the IM-ITE, call 215-351-2553 or 215-351-2598 or send us an email at IM-ITE@acponline.org.

Related Links

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MKSAP for Students: Supplement your learning and reinforce key concepts with the fully revised and updated MKSAP for Students 5!

IM Essentials for Students: The fully revised and updated Internal Medicine Essentials for Students is the authoritative educational resource to augment learning during the third-year internal medicine clerkship.

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