OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify specific
competencies that differentiated passing from failing performance on the
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Part II oral board certification
examination. METHOD: A total of 363 candidates were rated in 18 areas of
competence defined by behavioral criteria. Data were analyzed to determine
which areas best discriminated between passing and failing candidates.
RESULTS: In both parts of the examination, the ability to develop a
comprehensive treatment plan was most influential. After that, specific
interview and observational skills discriminated best. Failing candidates
had most difficulty detecting and following informational and affective
cues in their interview of a patient and presenting a biopsychosocial
formulation and comprehensive treatment plan. CONCLUSIONS: Specific
candidate competencies related to passing and failing performances can be
identified and assessed by a rating scale of observable behaviors on the
board certification examination in psychiatry.