Do You Need to Study for the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment Pilot?

January 10, 2019
That depends.
Are you getting exposed to the variety of subjects that are going to be tested on the FMCLA pilot?

According to the ABFM, the longitudinal assessment is a test of family medicine knowledge and clinical problem-solving ability relevant to family medicine. Appropriate subject areas of the following disciplines are included: Adult Medicine, Care of the Surgical Patient, Maternity Care, Community Medicine, Care of Children and Adolescents, Mental Health, Care of the Elderly, Care of the Female Patient, and Emergent & Urgent Care. Elements of the assessment include, but are not limited to, diagnosis, management, and prevention of disease.

So what does core medical knowledge look like?

A 25-year-old woman presents to the clinic with a two-year history of depressed mood, insomnia, and decreased energy. She is a graduate student and has found it difficult to concentrate during this period. She also feels hopeless and has low self-esteem. She has no past medical history and takes no medications. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

A) Dysthymia

B) Post-traumatic stress disorder

C) Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

D) Substance-induced depressive disorder

How confident do you feel with this question?

What about this one?

A 91-year-old woman with Alzheimer dementia complains of worsening urinary incontinence. She has a history of hypertension and osteoarthritis. Which of her medications is likely contributing to her urinary incontinence?

(A) Donepezil

(B) Ibuprofen

(C) Metoprolol

(D) Olanzapine

What is the general structure of the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot?

According to ABFM, the Longitudinal Assessment Pilot is a 300-question cognitive examination delivered via computer or device over a maximum 4-year period. As a participant, you will receive 25 timed (5 minutes), multiple-choice questions overbreadth of family medicine each calendar quarter. You are required to meaningfully participate in year 1 by answering a minimum of 80 questions by December 31, 2019. If you meet the participation requirement, you will continue to receive the 25 quarterly questions until you have answered 300 questions or 4 years have elapsed. In a given quarter, you will have approximately 11 weeks to respond to all 25 questions. Once you have opened a question, you will have a minimum of two and potentially up to five minutes to respond. 

What are the key takeaways?
  • Beginning in 2019, you’ll receive 25 multiple-choice questions each quarter (100 total in 2019) from ABFM
  • Questions can be answered all at once or spread out over several sessions
  • You have 5 minutes to answer each question
  • Once you view a question, it will be graded whether or not you answer it (so make sure you never view a question without submitting an answer (i.e., never leave a question blank)
  • Questions that are not viewed or answered in a particular quarter will appear in the subsequent quarter
  • You can use resources to help answer the questions, but you cannot share content with colleagues
What is the timeline for the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot?
Timeline for the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot
What is meaningful participation?

According to the ABFM, meaningful participation is defined as answering at least 80 of the timed, multiple-choice questions by December 31 of the first year of participation. As long as meaningful participation is achieved in year 1, participants will proceed to subsequent years and continue to receive 25 questions per quarter. The ABFM will continue to deliver 25 questions quarterly until the participant has answered 300 questions or 4 years have elapsed. If 300 questions have not been answered after 4 years, the unanswered items will be counted as incorrect. If meaningful participation is not achieved in year 1, participants will be required to sit for the one-day, computer-based, proctored examination in the following year. Your certification will remain valid to the end of that year to provide you an opportunity to complete the one-day examination and remain certified.

For these reasons, advance preparation is a personal decision. However, if you would feel more prepared by studying in advance or during the four-year Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot period, utilize the same approaches you would use to prepare for the traditional Certification exam (self-study, practice questions, review courses, etc).

The answers to the questions above…for question 1 the answer is (A) Dysthymia. For question 2 the answer is (A) Donepezil.

If you are looking for a resource that resembles the content found on the Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot, you may want to consider the Rosh Review Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot Qbank. This Qbank gives you the opportunity to become familiar with the required core medical knowledge and to practice it in a low-stress environment so you can answer your Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) Pilot questions correctly on the first try. And at the very least, you’ll gain even more skills to help you in practice.

By Adam Rosh

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