Engagement, Connections Guide ABP Improvements

To achieve its goal of continuous learning and improvement, the ABP frequently engages with pediatricians, trainees, and others to collect ideas and insights to make certification more relevant to both physician and patient.

“We see immense value in strengthening our connections with pediatricians — and learning from them how we can improve,” says Laurel Leslie, MD, MPH, ABP Vice President for Research.

Dr. Leslie and her team coordinate the surveys that pediatricians take after completing an examination, enrolling in another certification cycle, or contacting the ABP’s Support Center. They also engage with user panels (a focus group that meets several times) of practicing pediatricians.

To ensure objectivity, the ABP’s user panel discussions are conducted and summarized by RTI International, an independent research firm. Survey and user panel insights are then used to improve the certification process.

Pediatricians meet in person before all ABP meetings are moved onlineIn January 2020, before travel became restricted due to the coronavirus, the 27 certified pediatricians comprising the yearlong Continuing Certification Stakeholder Advisory Panel met in North Carolina for a full day of activities. Coming from 21 states and provinces across the United States and Canada, they were a mix of urban and rural practitioners from both private practices and universities, and they represented all age groups, multiple races and ethnicities, and general pediatricians as well as subspecialists.

Dr. Anthonia Emezie participates in the ABP Continuing Certification Stakeholder Advisory Panel“Our January session focused primarily on the processes and requirements for maintaining certification,” says Keith Mann, MD, MEd, ABP Vice President for Continuing Certification. “The pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists on the user panel had a number of great ideas, some of which we plan to integrate into continuing certification in the future.”

The panel also met virtually, but in several smaller groups, in the summer and fall. In those sessions, the panelists answered questions to help guide the ABP’s communications with pediatricians. They gave suggestions for improving the ABP Support Center, public website, ABP Portfolio, and email communications.

“Participating in the ABP’s Continuing Certification Stakeholder Advisory Panel was an incredible opportunity to be heard, to contribute, and to offer solutions to strengthen the ABP’s existing policies and communications,” says Sonal Chandratre, MD, a board-certified pediatric endocrinologist from Wisconsin. “In my mind, like many other pediatricians, the ABP was simply a certification body. But now I know that the ABP is made up of wonderful, warm-hearted people who are invested in making the ABP and its stakeholders stronger! To sum up my feelings in three words after this experience: The ABP cares!

Pediatricians who would like to be considered for future user panels or focus groups or would like to participate in virtual usability testing may apply at www.abp.org/volunteer.

Top photo: Pediatricians meet in person before all ABP meetings are moved online.

Bottom photo: Dr. Anthonia Emezie participates in the ABP Continuing Certification Stakeholder Advisory Panel.