ABIM report backs replacing MOC exam

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has released a report prepared by its Assessment 2020 Task Force that addresses the future of its certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) programs.

ABIM several years ago changed its physician certification rules from a system in which doctors retained their credentials for life once they passed the board exams to one in which physicians must recertify their credentials every 10 years by taking an MOC exam. The new system has generated pushback from many physicians who found it expensive and time-consuming, and in February ABIM even issued an apology for some new MOC requirements.

The new report is intended to help ABIM in its ongoing redesign of certification and MOC programs. Key recommendations include replacing the 10-year MOC exam with more meaningful and less burdensome assessments, focusing assessments on cognitive and technical skills, and recognizing specialization.

ABIM has made a number of changes to its certification and MOC programs in recent months, including the following:

  • Suspending quality improvement and patient safety requirements until more meaningful requirements are defined
  • No longer requiring underlying certifications for MOC
  • Offering a one-year grace period for physicians who fail the MOC examination in their discipline
  • Reducing the first-time examination retake fee in MOC
  • Providing a new partnership with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to accept more forms of continuing medical education (CME) for MOC credit
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