Family physicians' completion of scoring criteria in Virtual Patient encounters

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2011;2011:1355-60. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) has used a 60-item Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) section followed by a Virtual Patient (VP) exercise in Maintenance Of Certification (MOC) since 2004, and has had an asthma module since 2005. The original asthma VP criteria anticipated some Expert Panel Report-3 recommendations, such as home peak flow monitoring and a written plan, that were added to the MCQ section only when the guideline was updated in 2007. VP completion rates for these criteria improved markedly with the MCQ update, while other criteria completion rates were stable. Asthma criteria completion rates are not predicted by the strength of evidence for the criteria. User interface details influence criteria completion rates, but did not affect the changes observed in 2007. Asthma MCQ content affects Diplomate performance on asthma VP: this translational step suggests that MOC exercises could result in improved care for real patients.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma*
  • Certification
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Educational Measurement / methods
  • Family Practice / education
  • Humans
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Physicians, Family*
  • Specialty Boards*
  • United States