The final report from the American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission recommends shifting the focus of ongoing certification from high-stakes exams while still maintaining a role for ABMS’s 24 specialty boards in determining physicians’ certification status.
The final recommendations address one of the primary concerns ASN and other physicians’ organizations raised about basing a physician’s ability to continue practicing on a single high-stakes exam. Instead, it recommends ongoing formative assessments be combined with other data on a physician’s professional standing, continuing education, and practice improvement efforts in certification decisions. It also requires that boards provide physicians who fail to initially pass such assessments a pathway to meet the standards before certification is lost.
But the report may not go far enough in recognizing the role of specialty societies in lifelong learning and continuous professional development.
“ASN affirms its position that each nephrologist choose a process of maintaining career excellence that upholds the values of the medical profession and highlights to patients and the public his or her ability to provide high-quality care,” said Suzanne M. Norby, MD, FASN, chair of the ASN Continuous Professional Development Committee and a faculty member at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
On March 12, 2019, ABMS announced plans to implement recommendations from the report, including creation of collaborative task forces on remediation pathways, professionalism, advancing practice, and information and data sharing. The task forces will include representatives from professional and state societies and other external stakeholders, ABMS said in its announcement.
The announcement also noted that ABMS is committed to developing new, integrated standards for continuing certification programs by 2020, and that all 24 member boards agreed to commit to longitudinal or other formative assessment strategies and to offer alternatives to the highly secure, point-in-time examinations of knowledge.
MOC Returns as a Hot Issue this Winter. Kidney News February 2019; 11:2 (www.kidneynews.org/kidney-news/current-issue/moc-returns-hot-issue-this-winter)
Bertka K. Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission Draft Report for Public Comment. January 15, 2019. (https://www.asn-online.org/education/moc/2019_01_15_ASN_Comment_Letter_Vision_Commission.pdf)
Rosenberg M Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission Draft Report for Public Comment. January 15, 2019 (https://www.asn-online.org/education/moc/2019_01_15_ASN_Comment_Letter_Vision_Commission.pdf)
American Board of Internal Medicine. Knowledge Check In. https://www.abim.org/maintenance-of-certification/assessment-information/assessment-options/knowledge-check-in.aspx
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