Physician Age and Performance on the American Board of Emergency Medicine ConCert Examination

Catherine A. Marco, Robert P. Wahl, Hans R. House, Deepi G. Goyal, Samuel M. Keim, O. John Ma, Kevin B. Joldersma, Mary M. Johnston, Anne L. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was undertaken to expand on results from a 2014 study on the association between physician age and performance on the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) ConCert examination. Methods: This was a retrospective, longitudinal growth study comparing performance on the ConCert examination and physicians’ ages at the time of examination. All examination attempts from 1990 to 2016 made by residency-trained physicians were eligible for inclusion. Multilevel growth models were constructed to examine the relationship between age at time of examination and performance, controlling for physician characteristics. Results: The study group included 15,533 examination attempts by 12,786 physicians. The mean (±SD) age of the physicians across all examination administrations was 45.02 (±5.18) years (range = 35 to 72 years). The mean (±SD) ConCert examination score across all administrations was 85.39 (±5.71; range = 51 to 100). Among first-time ConCert examination takers, older age was associated with lower examination scores (r = –0.25, p < 0.0001). Across all examination attempts, age was negatively correlated to examination scores (r = –0.24; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: After physician characteristics were controlled for, there was an association between advancing age and declining performance on the ABEM ConCert examination. This information may be important to the individual physician to develop targeted competency assessment and professional development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-900
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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