ABMS International

ABMS International assists organizations around the world striving to set high standards for assessing and certifying medical specialists.

ABMS International logo ABMS International is part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the leading organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS establishes the standards used to assess and certify individuals across 24 primary medical and surgical specialties. The certification process, conducted through the ABMS specialty Member Boards, is recognized by the U.S. health care system as an industry standard for professional accountability.

ABMS International embodies the ABMS values to promote quality health care through certification and continuous professional development.

Who We Are

ABMS International provides one single point of access to the expertise of all the ABMS Member Boards. Contact ABMS International for consultation and program guidance on physician assessment, certification and test development. The ABMS International staff includes:

ABMS International Activities

Since 2012, ABMS International has been meeting with health care training and development officials to help them explore and evolve certification programming using elements of the U.S. model. Highlights include:

  • Singapore—A collaborative arrangement with the Singapore Ministry of Health (Singapore MOH) to help create a physician assessment system for medical specialists who have completed training in ACGME-International programs in Singapore. Examinations were developed and are now being administered in the 12 specialties of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology, and Surgery. For more information, read Transforming Certification: A Story in Practice[PDF]
  • Assessment Workshops—ABMS International staff has collaborated with Weill Cornell Medical College Qatar, the Ethiopian Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Jordanian Medical Council to provide assessment workshops focused on sharing best practices in overall test development and writing high quality multiple choice questions.

ABMS International also regularly presents and exhibits at the annual Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) exhibition and conference.


“This certification process complements our structured formative training and allows us to better assess the competencies of our residents, both during and after completion of training.”
—Mabel Yap, MD, Singapore Ministry of Health Director of Education and Assessment


Consultative Services for Assessment Creation

ABMS International Certification Services team offers guidance in the creation of a fair, valid, reliable, and defensible assessment that measures a candidates’ competency for certification. Ask about assessment-related workshops on the following topics:

Exam Design—Learn valuable strategies for creating blueprints and specifications, classification schemes, multiple choice item banks, and examination forms as well as ways to organize the item writing and review process.

Item Development—Find out how to prepare multiple-choice questions that assess application of clinical knowledge in patient care situations; recognize, correct, and avoid commonly occurring technical flaws in phrasing; select item topics suitable for specialty certification examinations; and participate effectively in review of multiple-choice questions.

Standard Setting—Understand the purpose of and common methods for setting pass/fail standards from the perspectives of educators, program directors, regulators, and candidates. Learn about the concept of the “borderline” (minimally competent) candidate and its role in setting absolute (criterion-reference) pass/fail standards. Strategies for selecting, training, and calibrating subject matter experts will also be discussed.

Score Reports—Learn how to design score reports that provide information about candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. Participants are invited to bring copies of score reports they have seen or developed for review by the facilitator and other attendees.

Interpretation of Item and Test Statistics—Receive a practical overview of test and item statistics, including an introduction to generalizability theory and associated test statistics used as indicators of the reproducibility (reliability, precision) of scores on multiple-choice examinations. Commonly used item statistics (p-values, biserial correlations, Horst statistics and high/low group breakdowns) are also reviewed, along with principles of “key validation.”