Tuesday, January 14, 2020


New year, new job, new blog post describing it all. On January 6, I started working as a Data Analyst at the American Board of Medical Specialties, which oversees certification and maintenance of certification activities for 24 Member Boards (such as the American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, and so on).

The main part of my job will be doing analysis, research, and program evaluation of the CertLink program, which is a really cool online system that tests physician knowledge in their certification area, provides feedback and introduces new information to improve over time, and measures the relevance of items to their practice, so that their maintenance of certification assessments can become more targeted to the population and types of cases they encounter in their practice. We're hoping that this kind of system will become the future of medical specialty certification, so rather than taking a high stakes exam every 10 years, medical specialists can maintain their certifications through targeted, longitudinal assessment and continuing education. And we're hoping to show this approach works by tying it to long-term, quality of care outcomes, like prescribing patterns. I'll share more as I learn more about the company and my role, to the degree that I can based on data privacy. But I'm so excited to be involved with this, using my psychometrics and statistics skills for the data I'm working with, and my research/program evaluation skills to show (how) the system works. I also finally get to use my SQL knowledge as part of my job, and will be using my R and Python programming skills pretty regularly as well.

Zeppelin is adjusting well to me working again. He adores his dog walker, who he sees three times a week, and has made many new friends in the doggy daycare he attends twice a week. He also has a huge crush on Mona, who can be found at Uncharted Books, stopping to stare longingly at her every time we walk by the shop. As is the case with so many crushes, this love seems to be unrequited; Mona tolerates Zeppelin but doesn't like the way he drinks out of her water bowl when we stop in.

On the blogging front, I'm working on an analysis of the 88 books I read last year, and might even do some long-term analysis of my last few years of reading data. Stay tuned for that.

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