Board Certification: a historic milestone in phlebology in the USA It is a pleasure to announce a historic milestone in phlebology in the USA: the creation of an independent specialty board in phlebology. This development will contribute significantly to the recognition and acceptance of phlebology, as well as serve to improve the standards of patient care. It is an important affirmation for those who have chosen to contribute to and work in the field of venous disease. The American Board of Phlebology (ABPh), an independent non-profit organization, is organized under the laws of the state of Illinois for scientific and educational purposes. The creation of the ABPh was made possible by the effort and support of the American College of Phlebology and American College of Phlebology Foundation. The purposes for which the Board is organized are to: (1) Improve the standards of medical practitioners and the quality of patient care related to the treatment of venous disorders and all aspects of venous disease; (2) Serve the public and medical profession by establishing initial and continuing qualifications for certification and maintenance of certification as physician specialists in the practice of phlebology; (3) Examine physician candidates for certification and maintenance of certification in the practice of phlebology; (4) Establish educational standards for teaching and training programmes in phlebology; (5) Maintain a registry of individuals who hold certificates issued by the Board. The ABPh Certification Examination was developed using the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, which establishes procedures for exam development to ensure valid interpretation of score results. These standards are published and adopted by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association and the US National Council on Measurement in Education. The computer-based examination is comprised of approximately 200 multiple-choice questions. The content of the examination includes basic science (8%), venous diseases and syndromes (20%), diag-
nostic tools and screening (10%), Duplex ultrasound and other imaging modalities (25%), treatment (35%) and professional standards (2%). Certification is for a period of 10 years, at which time a re-certification examination must be taken. Maintenance of certification requirements is under development. The Certification Exam is open to licensed physicians in the USA or Canada who meet rigorous prerequisite qualifications. The criteria, which can be viewed at www.americanboardofphlebology.org/ ABPh_Criteria.pdf, establish four major pathways to qualification:
† † † †
Fellowship route; Residency route; Experience route; Distinguished Scholar route.
The first American Board of Phlebology Certification Exam was delivered via Pearson Vue testing centres, located throughout the USA and internationally, in April 2008. Two hundred and seventy-six applicants, from a variety of specialties, took the exam (Figure 1). Two hundred and forty-eight passed the exam. The items answered correctly determined the exam score. The exam was not graded on a curve, so passing the exam was not based on how well or poorly other candidates did in the exam. An absolute passing point was established against which all candidates’ results were compared. The candidate separation reliability for the examination was 0.89, indicating that the exam successfully separated candidate ability estimates. The 2009 exam will be delivered via Pearson Vue testing centres on 18– 25 April 2009. The ABPh Board is comprised of seven Directors: Anthony J Comerota MD FACS RVT
† Director, Jobst Vascular Center; † Programme Director, Jobst Vascular Center – † † †
The Toledo Hospital Vascular Surgery Residency Programme; Section Head, Peripheral Vascular Surgery, The Toledo Hospital; Clinical Professor of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School; Past President, Peripheral Vascular Surgical Society, American Venous Forum, Delaware Phlebology 2009;24:49–50
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S E Zimmet
† Clinical Professor of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences;
† Emeritus Chairman and Founder, Department † †
of Surgery, Samsung Medical Centre and SungKyunKwan University; Founder, CVM Clinic and Lymphoedema Clinic, Seoul, Korea; Former Clinical (Visiting) Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Robert J Min MD MBA FACPh FSIR (Vice President of ABPh)
† Vice President, American Board of Phlebology; † Acting Chairman of Radiology, Weill Cornell † † †
Medical College; Associate Attending Radiologist, Weill Cornell Medical College; Associate Professor of Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College; President, American College of Phlebology.
Suresh Vedantham MD
† Associate Professor, Radiology, Washington
University School of Medicine; Associate Professor, Surgery, Interventional Radiology Section, Washington University School of Medicine.
Craig F Feied MD FACEP FAAEM FACPh (Treasurer of ABPh)
Steven E Zimmet MD RVT FACPh (President of ABPh)
† Professor of Emergency Medicine, Georgetown
† Past President, American College of Phlebology; † Chairman, American College of Phlebology
Figure 1 Applicants by specialty for the 2008 American Board of Phlebology Certification Exam
Valley Vascular Society and Academy of Surgery.
University School of Medicine;
† Director of the ER One Institutes for Innovation
in Medicine in Washington, DC, including the Institute for Medical Informatics, the Institute for Public Health and Emergency Readiness, the Center for Biologic Counterterrorism and Emerging Diseases, the Medical Media Lab, the Simulation and Training Environment Lab, the Institute for Nursing Innovation and the ER One Design Institute; Past President, American College of Phlebology.
Helane S Fronek MD FACP FACPh
Foundation; Editor, Phlebology; Affiliated Programme Faculty, MD Anderson Advanced Surgical Dermatology Fellowship – Non-MD Anderson Faculty.
Contact information The American Board of Phlebology 12100 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 130 Reston, VA 20190, USA Email: [email protected]
Past President, American College of Phlebology B B (Byung-Boong) Lee MD PhD FACS
† Professor of Surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine;
S E Zimmet Editor, Phlebology Email: [email protected]
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