ABIM Announces Changes to MOC Program

Responding to concerns raised by ASN, the American College of Physicians, and other medical specialty societies, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) on February 3, 2015, announced it is suspending the Practice Assessment, Patient Voice, and Patient Safety requirements of its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program for at least 2 years in order to engage the medical community’s input regarding its MOC program.

Starting a year ago, ABIM changed its once-every-10-years MOC program to a more continuous one. The change generated substantial criticism among internists and medical specialties.

“Some believe ABIM has turned a deaf ear to practicing physicians and has not adequately developed a relevant, meaningful program for them as they strive to keep up to date in their fields,” ABIM President and CEO Richard Baron, MD, MACP, said in a statement. “ABIM clearly got it wrong. We launched programs that weren’t ready and we didn’t deliver an MOC program that physicians found meaningful. We want to change that.”

ABIM plans to institute the following changes:

  • Within the next 6 months, ABIM will change the language used to publicly report a diplomate’s MOC status on its website from “meeting MOC requirements” to “participating in MOC.”
  • ABIM is updating the Internal Medicine MOC exam. The update will focus on making the exam more reflective of what physicians in practice are doing, with any changes to be incorporated beginning fall 2015. More subspecialty MOC exams will follow.
  • MOC enrollment fees will remain at or below the 2014 levels through at least 2017.
  • By the end of 2015, ABIM will assure new and more flexible ways for internists to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge by recognizing most forms of continuing medical education approved by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.
  • Effective immediately, ABIM is suspending the Practice Assessment, Patient Voice, and Patient Safety requirements for at least 2 years. This means that no internist will have his or her certification status changed for not having completed activities in these areas for at least the next 2 years. Diplomates who are currently not certified but who have satisfied all requirements for MOC except for the Practice Assessment requirement will be issued a new certificate this year.

The organization plans to work with medical societies and directly with diplomates to seek input regarding the MOC program through meetings, webinars, forums, online communications channels, and surveys. For more information, please see the ABIM MOC FAQ page.