||BACKGROUND: The number of older adults needing primary care exceeds the capacity of trained geriatricians to accommodate them. All physicians should have basic knowledge of optimal outpatient care of older adults to enhance the capacity of the system to serve this patient group. To date, there is no knowledge-assessment tool that focuses specifically on geriatric ambulatory care.
OBJECTIVE: We developed an examination to assess internal medicine residents' knowledge of ambulatory geriatrics.
METHODS: A consensus panel developed a 30-question examination based on topics in the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Certification Examination Blueprint, the ABIM in-training examinations, and the American Geriatrics Society Goals and Objectives. Questions were reviewed, edited, and then administered to medical students, internal medicine residents, primary care providers, and geriatricians.
RESULTS: Ninety-eight individuals (20 fourth-year medical students, 57 internal medicine residents, 11 primary care faculty members, and 10 geriatrics fellowship-trained physicians) took the examination. Based on psychometric analysis of the results, 5 questions were deleted because of poor discriminatory power. The Cronbach α coefficient of the remaining 25 questions was 0.48; however, assessment of interitem consistency may not be an appropriate measure, given the variety of clinical topics on which questions were based. Scores increased with higher levels of training in geriatrics (P < .001).
CONCLUSION: Our preliminary study suggests that the examination we developed is a reasonably valid method to assess knowledge of ambulatory geriatric care and may be useful in assessing residents.