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Academia and the Profession |

Performance of Women Candidates on the American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination, 1973-1982

JOHN J. NORCINI, Ph.D.; SUZANNE W. FLETCHER, M.D.; BARBARA B. QUIMBY, M.S.; and JUDY A. SHEA, Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

This research was supported by the American Board of Internal Medicine but does not necessarily reflect its policy or opinion.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to John J. Norcini, Ph.D.; American Board of Internal Medicine, University City Science Center, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Voorhees, New Jersey


© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(1):115-118. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-1-115
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Trends in the performances of female and male candidates taking the American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination from 1973 through 1982 were examined. The mean scores of female candidates who graduated from medical schools in the United States or Canada and who were taking the examination for the first time improved from 428 to 470, and the percentage of those passing improved from 59% to 76%. The number of women taking the examination also increased markedly, by over 500%. Performance of female candidates remained slightly lower than that of male candidates, regardless of the quality of the residency training program or the medical school from which a candidate had graduated or the rating given a candidate by the director of the candidate's residency program. Except for the oldest candidates, age followed this pattern as well. Our findings suggest that the gender gap in scores on the Certifying Examination in Internal Medicine is narrowing.

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