ABIM Releases MOC Survey Results

The American Board of Internal Medicine recently released results from its survey “Improving the MOC Assessment Experience.”

Among the survey’s findings, 69.6% of respondents said they were dissatisfied with ABIM’s MOC program as a whole. About 38% answered “positive” when asked, “How well has ABIM done over the past several months at addressing the needs and concerns of the internal medicine community?”

In December 2015, ABIM invited board-certified physicians to complete an online survey. A representative sample was identified for follow-up reminders. More than 9000 ABIM diplomates responded; 360 responses were from the random representative sample of 1125 respondents.

ASN released results from its own survey, “Maintenance of Certification – ASN 2016,” in April 2016.

In an announcement, ABIM said it conducted the survey to determine physicians’ views on what they believe maintaining board certification says about them as physicians, as well their opinions about potential innovations in examinations and other assessments.

The majority of physicians surveyed said board certification means that they are staying current in the knowledge they need to practice or are engaged in improving the quality of their practice.

The survey asked physicians about 4 possible options for length and frequency of examinations and assessments. Fifty-six percent responded positively to the idea of taking a series of shorter examinations over the course of a few years, with the potential to skip the traditional MOC exam if they score high enough. Another 14% said they were “neutral” to the idea or needed more information.

Respondents varied widely in their preferences for how long and how frequent examinations should be: 55.5% preferred yearly exams that take less than 1 hour, and 47% preferred the option of taking assessments of 2 to 4 hours duration every few years. Only 21% preferred an 8-hour exam every 10 years. The least favorable option was “assessments that require a few minutes, every week,” at 10.5%.

There was clear support (86.4%) for taking examinations at a location other than a testing center, such as at home, office, or elsewhere, and for allowing access to online reference material during an examination (76%).

“Alternative assessment models were favored in the survey of ABIM board-certified physicians (which included nephrologists, as well as other physicians). An assessment model that could be used by physicians to support lifelong learning would be an important change,” said Mark E. Rosenberg, MD, FASN, ASN Education Committee Chair and Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean for Education at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, MN. “ASN looks forward to working through the important but controversial issue of MOC with the newly formed ASN Task Force on Recertification.”