ACP Internal Medicine In-Training Examination™
The Web-based IM-ITE™: Offered beginning late August through mid-September in 2015!
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 administered beginning in late August for the first time in 2015, from Friday, August 28, to Monday, September 14, 2015, excluding September 7, 2015 (Labor Day); testing will not be available on September 7, 2015, from 12:01 a.m. to 12:00 midnight EDT. By “straddling” the examination administration window between late August and mid-September, we hope to offer programs more flexibility in coordinating their scheduling during the hectic period involving fellowship interviews.
Check back soon for updated FAQs on the Web-based IM-ITE!
To provide feedback on your 2014 Web-based IM-ITE experience, email us at IM-ITE@acponline.org.
Program Administrators: On Monday, April 27, 2015, at 9 a.m., ACP will be presenting helpful tips about how to get ready for the 2015 IM-ITE during a plenary session scheduled for APDIM’s 2015 Program Administrators Meeting “Program Administrators To the Moon and Back” in Houston, Texas. We hope to see you there!
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.
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 Medicine (AAIM). The final committee member is a rotating representative from ACP or AAIM.
Preparation for the IM-ITE begins 18 months before administration. Each committee member reviews and writes questions in one or more of the 11 subspecialties listed on the content blueprint (see next three paragraphs) and according to well-established principles of exam construction. All questions used in any examination have undergone 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.
The blueprint for the IM-ITE, shown below, is modeled after the blueprint for the American Board of Internal Medicine’s certification exam.
2015 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%
- 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.
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 postresidency fellowship training. It is designed only as a self-assessment tool.
However, program directors are encouraged to include IM-ITE results in semiannual 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 program’s 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.
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 26,000 residents from 12 countries participate in the exam.
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.
The IM-ITE is administered annually at each training site during a prescribed period. The 2015 IM-ITE will be administered August 28-September 14, 2015, excluding Monday, September 7 (Labor Day) and including the weekend days of August 29-30, September 5-6, and September 12-13. 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.
The 2015 IM-ITE will consist of 300 items.
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.
A link to online score reports will be made available approximately 4 to 5 weeks following the end of the exam window. 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 individual’s total percent correct score and percentile rank.
- Percent score and percentile rank for each of the 11 major content areas tested.
- A list of educational objectives of 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 listing of 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.
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.
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