Cardiologists Assess ABIM’s New MOC Alternative

Over the past year, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has made substantial changes to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process in response to concerns raised by physicians and specialty organizations, including the ACC. Most recently, the ABIM announced plans to offer a new 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.

A recent CardioSurve survey assessed perceptions of this latest change, as well as the College’s ongoing role in improving the MOC process. Overall results find that nearly three out of four cardiologists (74%) view this new offering from ABIM as a positive step for US cardiologists. Consequently, the majority of cardiologists (58%) also favor the shorter, more frequent assessment option, compared to 17% who prefer an open-book 10-year exam, and 5% who prefer the current 10-year board exam format. Early career respondents are more likely to favor the shorter, more frequent assessments, compared to their mid-to-late career colleagues (70% to 52%, respectively).

Approximately two out of three cardiologists (65%) believe the ACC had a very or extremely strong impact on the recent change and almost half (47%) feel that the College has been more effective than other professional societies and organizations in bringing about MOC changes. Additionally, the number of cardiologists who believe that ACC’s ABIM lobbying efforts have been equally effective as those of other groups grew from 17% in February 2015 to 27% in May 2016.

ACC’s work to improve ABIM’s MOC policy hasn’t stopped with the adoption of the new MOC alternative. The College is urging ABIM to model the new, shorter assessments after the “SAP” model and to use the 2016 ACC Lifelong learning Clinical Competencies as the basis of these assessments. Further, the College is also encouraging the adoption of an open-book format for those clinicians who choose the 10-year exam option.

Additionally, in an effort to help streamline the MOC process for clinicians, the College continues to offer free MOC resources to its members. Close to half of cardiologists surveyed (48%) indicate that they have used ACC’s MOC resources via or taken advantage of joint continuing medical education/MOC offerings at ACC.16.

As the College continues to work with ABIM to help shape the MOC process, members can stay-up-to-date on the latest MOC changes, and access tools and resources at

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