The LKA Makes me a Better Doctor

The LKA Makes me a Better Doctor

Jagadish (Jay) Puppala, MD, is a cardiologist at Palo Pinto General Hospital in Mineral Wells, Texas. He is participating in the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA®) in Internal Medicine. He reached out to ABIM to share his thoughts on the LKA. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease.

The Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment has allowed me not only to stay up-to-date in the field of internal medicine in general, but also to be a more well-rounded physician. 

As a practicing cardiologist in a community hospital, my patients often ask noncardiac-related health questions. There are so many different ailments that the heart reacts to that it’s important for cardiologists to consider the whole body so we can treat what may be affecting the heart. The LKA has me answering questions about a lot of different topics, which helps me to think of the patient as a whole, which helps me practice better cardiology in particular and better medicine in general.

I like that it provides feedback immediately, which enables me to fill gaps in my knowledge and better evaluate, diagnose and treat patients every day. Medicine has changed a lot since my residency 20 years ago and I realized I had forgotten some of the things I had learned. There are so many new things—the LKA helps me to keep up with the latest technology, the latest changes in medicine and helps me in many different ways to make a better differential diagnosis. And, when I encounter a question that I have trouble with, it gives me a very, very focused idea of where I need to go to look it up and learn what I need to know, which saves me time.

The great thing about it is, I don’t have to finish it all in one or two sittings. I can answer the questions on my own time—it is flexible and easy to manage. Being a busy practitioner in cardiology, time is often a factor.

I would recommend the LKA to all my colleagues as it provides the opportunity to learn the latest changes and innovations in the ever-changing field of medicine and provide the best possible medical care to patients. The LKA helps make me a better doctor.

LKA enrollment for the 2023 assessment year opens December 1, 2022. Physicians participating will continue to be reported as certified throughout their five-year cycle as long as they are meeting the LKA Participation Requirement and any other Maintenance of Certification requirements. A question history will be provided after six months of participation, and quarterly score reports offered after five quarters.

Learn more about the LKA on ABIM’s website, and through the experiences of other diplomates. Questions? Call 1-800-441-ABIM or email request@ABIM.org.

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