In pursuit of excellence, Driscoll residents far outpace total pass rate for American Board of Pediatrics certification

CORPUS CHRISTI – Driscoll Children’s Hospital is proud to announce that all of its graduating residents who took the latest American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) certification exam in general pediatrics passed on their first attempt, continuing a trend that surpasses the total annual pass rate. Certification through the exam, administered once a year in October, has one objective – to promote excellence in medical care for children and adolescents.

“ABP certification provides a standard of excellence by which the public can select pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists,” according to the ABP. “Although certification is voluntary, nearly all qualified pediatricians seek this recognition.”

The ABP certification pass rate for pediatric residents at Driscoll Children’s Hospital for the past three years has been 98 percent, ranking them in the top 5 percent of the more than 200 pediatric residency programs in the country, said William Dirksen, MD, Driscoll chief of staff. In contrast, the total pass rate for candidates taking the ABP general pediatrics exam in 2009, 2010 and 2011 was 79.1 percent, 76.1 percent and 75.7 percent, respectively, according to the ABP.

The ABP certification exam is a one-day test given to physicians who have finished three years of pediatric residency training. Physicians must have a valid, unrestricted, permanent medical license to be eligible to sit for the test. Certification is valid for seven years after which physicians must recertify by taking the ABP’s Program for Maintenance of Certification in Pediatrics recertification exam.

Here are some additional facts from the ABP:

  • The ABP has certified 77,328 diplomates in general pediatrics and 14,707 in pediatric subspecialties.
  • Among the pediatricians who take the ABP test, 66 percent go into general pediatric practice and 24 percent go into pediatric subspecialties.
  • An average of 3,007 pediatricians take the ABP exam every year. Of these, American medical graduates accounted for 82.5 percent and international medical graduates accounted for 17.5 percent. Gender-wise, 40 percent were males and 60 percent were females.
  • The total number of pediatric residents currently in training programs in the United States is 9,731.
  • The average age at the time of ABP certification for pediatricians is 32 years for American medical graduates and about 36 years for international medical graduates.
  • The success of Driscoll’s residency program can be attributed largely to the hospital’s governing board, administration, faculty and staff, all of whom are dedicated to fostering excellent pediatricians.

“I have been blessed to have the necessary support to create an environment where aspiring physicians can be trained to become the best pediatricians in the world,” Dr. Dirksen said. “Driscoll faculty has been outstanding in their commitment to the teaching and mentoring of our residents.”