Almost every week, our offices in Chapel Hill are buzzing as we host meetings of test writing committees and subboards of the American Board of Pediatrics. The work of the ABP would not go forth without the volunteer time and effort of more than 250 pediatricians who govern the organization, develop and approve policies, write exam questions, set passing scores, establish standards of knowledge and do many other critical tasks that are the foundation of board certification. We have excellent volunteers on our 14 subboards and general pediatric examination committee and we’re grateful for their work!
As ABP seeks to continuously improve its ability to set standards of excellence for certification in pediatrics, our exams and maintenance of certification activities must reflect authentic day to day practice. Part of this effort involves making sure that the subboards and test writing committees continue to be made up of pediatricians from diverse backgrounds who represent modern practice and who know the critical issues affecting children’s health.
To insure an open process of joining an ABP subboard or question-writing committee, we’re now reaching out to all of our diplomates, asking YOU to consider volunteering for a position, or nominating a colleague you think would add important perspective and/or expertise to a particular subboard or to a general pediatrics test writing committee. Check out our new nominating tool.
We want candidates who represent the diversity of pediatric practice – everything from rural, private practices to medical centers in major metropolitan areas. And we want people from a variety of practice situations, including well-seasoned pediatricians, new practitioners, part-time providers and others who reflect today’s trends in pediatric practice.
Volunteers typically serve on a test writing committee or subboard for six years. The terms are staggered, so we have a limited number of vacancies each year. Members are expected to attend meetings as well as complete time-sensitive work assignments.
Who are the current volunteers who help develop our exams? We publish a list of all subboard and general pediatrics examination committees members in our annual report to recognize their outstanding work. Many Board of Directors members have served on one of the ABP’s question-writing committees or subboards, and all volunteers are required to be board certified and meet maintenance of certification requirements.
Your participation on one of the ABP’s subboards or committees would help us to help board-certified pediatricians everywhere, but you would get something back. I know about that from personal experience. Before I became the ABP President and CEO, I served for six years on the Pediatric Critical Care Medicine subboard. My time on that subboard was one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. I learned how to convert the important concepts and evidence in our field into valid and reliable exam questions. The real bonus came from the interactions and discussions with the other members of the subboard who were all trying to answer the question: “What would a parent expect us to know as they entrusted their child to our care?”
I hope you’ll give serious consideration to nominating yourself or someone else to work with us.
 The exceptions are non-pediatrician members serving on the Board of Directors to represent the public.