Since 2005, the American Board of Vascular Medicine (ABVM) endovascular examination has been used to certify vascular practitioners. Annual rigorous review has confirmed it is psychometrically valid and reliable. However, the evidence basis underlying the examination items has not been studied systematically. The aim of this study was to adjudicate class of recommendation (COR) and level of evidence (LOE) for the 2015 ABVM endovascular examination and establish an additional feedback mechanism for examination improvement based on contemporary evidence-based guidelines. We performed a pooled consensus process to classify each of the 110 items in the 2015 ABVM endovascular examination by COR and LOE as detailed in the current guideline statements. We added additional categories for items that were not eligible for assignment using traditional current evidence-based metrics: 'COR X', cannot be determined, not applicable, or simple recognition; and 'LOE X', cannot be determined or not applicable. COR classifications were assigned in the following proportion: Class I=15%, Class II=40%, Class III=3%, COR X=42%. LOE classifications were assigned in the following proportion: Level A=12%, Level B=34%, Level C=32%, LOE X=22%. Our analysis showed that nearly half of the 2015 ABVM endovascular examination items were supported by strong scientific evidence or fact-based knowledge. COR and LOE analysis yielded notably different results. Use of alternate classification schema may be powerful tools for improving certification exams in healthcare.
- board certification
- quality assurance
- vascular medicine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine