On May 5, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced plans to offer a new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessment in January 2018. The new first option will be available for Internal Medicine MOC and possibly one or two other specialties. The current 10-year examination will remain a second available option. Both options will reflect feedback received during the past year from certified physicians and medical specialty societies. The new option will comprise shorter assessments that physicians can choose to take on their personal or office computer more frequently than every 10 years, but no more than annually. ABIM intends to provide specific details about the new alternative assessment option by the end of the year (Dec. 31, 2016), following a public comment period.
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What does this mean for rheumatologists?
- At this stage, it’s not known if the rheumatology MOC exam will be affected in January 2018.
- If your internal medicine and/or rheumatology certificates expire by Dec. 31, 2016, and/or Dec. 31, 2017, you must pass the current 10-year examination and complete all MOC requirements to remain certified.
- If your internal medicine and/or rheumatology certificates expire by Dec. 31, 2018, or later, you can expect to have an alternative to the 10-year exam for internal medicine. It may also mean a new option for the rheumatology assessment at that time or shortly thereafter.
- If you’re grandparented in with a time unlimited certificate in internal medicine and/or rheumatology and your 10-year assessment is due before Dec. 31, 2017, you must pass the current 10-year examination and complete all MOC requirements to be considered “participating in MOC.”
- If you’re grandparented in with a time unlimited certificate in internal medicine and/or rheumatology and your 10-year assessment is due by Dec. 31, 2018, or later, you can expect to have an alternative assessment for internal medicine and possibly rheumatology.
The ACR continues to advocate for its members regarding these alternative formats. In alignment with our MOC Position Statement, which recognizes that assessment drives learning and should be used to guide physicians’ self-directed study, we will continue to push for access to clinical decision-making tools to be an open-book, take-home assessment or for the inclusion of current continuing medical education activities that consider assessment to be the appropriate option.