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Sharing examination questions threatens trust in medical profession
Date:4/29/2013

Sponsoring rigorous examinations that cover material critical for patient care will bolster what the profession provides to patients," according to the authors. "The literature suggests that this can best be achieved by embedding academic honesty into institutional cultures. Ultimately, the sanctity of our profession and the faith that patients place in us as physicians demands the highest moral standards."

In an accompanying Editorial, Christine K. Cassel, MD, Eric S. Holmboe, MD, and Lorie B. Slass, MA, of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), Philadelphia, welcome the work of Ruhnke and Doukas as an important "call to action" for academic medicine to actively, and intentionally, strengthen the culture of medical school and training programs to value integrity and to respect the need for examinations to demonstrate competence throughout a professional career.

In its legal actions and information campaign related to the board review prep company transgressions, "ABIM conveyed a clear message to the physician community that ABIM will not tolerate unethical behavior from board candidates, that test takers need to know that this kind of 'brain dumping' is grossly unethical, and that any physician who seeks to compromise the integrity of the ABIM examination process will face swift and serious consequences," explains Cassel.

"The certifying examination is one of the first tests of professionalism for physicians. 'Everyone does it' is never a sufficient answer when faced with an ethical dilemma, and if the profession is to meet its societal obligation to uphold the highest ethical standards, we most certainly cannot accept such an excuse from board certified physicians," she concludes.


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Contact: Rachael Zaleski
mcpmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3658
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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