ABIM Announces New Option For MOC Assessment Starting January 2018

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has announced plans to offer a new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessment option beginning in January 2018.

Under the new option, physicians who "engage in and perform well" on shorter assessments would have the option to test out of the current 10-year exam. The 10-year exam, however, will also remain available as a second option. According to ABIM, this new option will be available for physicians maintaining certification in internal medicine, and, possibly, one or two subspecialties starting in January 2018. Based on feedback from these early adopters, ABIM expects to make this option available to additional subspecialties as quickly as possible over subsequent program cycles.

Finding an alternative to the 10-year examination has been one of the top MOC goals of the ACC and the rest of the internal medicine community. It was also one of the primary recommendations of the Assessment 2020 Task Force last year. "MOC continues to rank among the top concerns of our internal medicine members, with the 10-year examination being the largest obstacle," says ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC. "We applaud the ABIM's move in the direction of more flexibility in MOC requirements; however, we will need more details to see how it aligns with ACC's proposal."

The ABIM expects to provide more specific details about what the alternative assessment option will look like no later than Dec. 31, 2016. In the meantime, physicians with certifications that expire before the new assessment option is offered in their specialty will still need to take and pass the 10-year exam in order to maintain their certification.

"The ACC remains highly sensitive to the urgency felt by our members who are approaching the 10-year examination requirement," says Chazal. "While all of us would prefer a rapid solution to this issue, we do understand the need to get this right."

According to Chazal, the College will continue to work with ABIM on the details of the rollout. The College has advocated for focused assessments or reevaluations of cognitive skills, similar to the "SAP" model, with the 2016 ACC Lifelong Learning Clinical Competencies as the basis of this assessment. Additionally, the ACC has suggested an open-book format for those members choosing to take the 10-year exam. The ACC also continues to advocate for research, working with the internal medicine community, to test the outcome of MOC activities on the actual improvement in patient care and outcomes.

Keywords: Clinical Competence, Cognition, Internal Medicine, Patient Care, Thiadiazines

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