JACC FIT/Early Career Page: The Increasing Burden of Standardized Testing

In the world of medical specialization where prolonged post-graduate education has become the norm, the process of board certification for Fellows in Training (FITs) could be made significantly less onerous with a few changes, according to an FIT/Early Career column published March 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. David C. Peritz, MD, describes the current status and cost of cardiovascular board certification and discusses potential changes to decrease the burden on fellows while still maintaining high practice standards. He notes that these changes would include an initial detailed and standardized competency assessment by the fellowship program director, an emphasis on smaller more frequent learning modules similar to the current Maintenance of Certification paradigm, and a concerted effort to decrease the fees levied on those sitting for board examinations. In a response to the column, Richard A. Chazal, MD, MACC, comments that “the ultimate goal of certification and recertification should be maintenance and improvement in the standard of care for our collective patients.” He adds, “The key is to do this right, in a way that serves those patients while recognizing the practical challenges presented to the physician and avoiding unreasonable expenditure of time and resources.” Read more.