American Board of Internal Medicine home page

Initial Certification indicates that physicians have met rigorous standards through intensive study, accredited training and evaluation and that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care.

MOC is a professionally determined standard that attests that an internist is staying current in knowledge and practice throughout his/her career.

For more than 75 years, Certification by ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 20 subspecialties.

Maintenance of Certification

Impact of MOC

Peterson LE, Blackburn B, Puffer JC, Phillips RL Jr. Family physicians' quality interventions and performance improvement for hypertension through maintenance of certification. J Healthc Qual. 2015 Jul 1. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jhq.12082/.

Steadman RH, Burden AR, Huang YM, Gaba DM, Cooper JB. Practice improvements based on participation in simulation for the maintenance of certification in anesthesiology program. 2015;122(5):1154-69.

Phillips RL, Blackburn B, Peterson LE, Puffer JC. Maintenance of certification, medicare quality reporting, and quality of diabetes care. Am J Med Qual. 2015 Mar 2. Advance online publication. pii: 1062860615571662.

Peterson LE, Blackburn B, Phillips RL, Puffer JC. Improving quality of care for diabetes through a maintenance of certification activity: family physicians' use of the chronic care model. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2014 Winter;34(1):47-55. doi: 10.1002/chp.21216.

Gray BM, Vandergrift JL, Johnston MM, Reschovsky JD, Lynn LA, Holmboe ES, McCullough JS, Lipner RS. Association between imposition of a maintenance of certification requirement and ambulatory care-sensitive hospitalizations and health care costs. JAMA. 2014 Dec 10; 312(22): 2348-57.

Vernacchio L, Francis ME, Epstein DM, Santangelo J, Trudell EK, Reynolds ME, Risko W. Effectiveness of an asthma quality improvement program designed for maintenance of certification. Pediatrics. 2014 Jul;134(1):e242-8. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-264.

Wittich CM, Reed DA, Ting HH, Berger RA, Nowicki KM, Blachman MJ, Mandrekar JN, Beckman TJ. Measuring reflection on participation in quality improvement activities for maintenance of certification. Acad Med. 2014 Oct;89(10):1392-7.

Elward K, Blackburn B, Peterson LE, Greenawald M, Hagen MD. Improving quality of care and guideline adherence for asthma through a group self-assessment module. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014 May-Jun;27(3):391-8. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.03.130241.

Huang JS, Chun S, Sandhu A, Terrones L. Quality improvement in childhood obesity management through the maintenance of certification process. J Pediatr. 2013 Nov;163(5):1313-6.e1. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.05.011.

Peterson LE, Blackburn BE, Puffer JC, Phillips RL Jr. Family physicians' quality interventions and performance improvement through the ABFM diabetes performance in practice module. Ann Fam Med. 2014 Jan-Feb;12(1):17-20. doi: 10.1370/afm.1592.

Galliher JM, Manning BK, Petterson SM, Dickinson LM, Brandt EC, Staton EW, Phillips RL, Pace WD. Do professional development programs for maintenance of certification (MOC) affect quality of patient care? J Am Board Fam Med. 2014 Jan-Feb;27(1):19-25. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.01.130109.

Iglehart JK, Baron RB. Ensuring physicians' competence — is maintenance of certification the answer? N Engl J Med. 2012;367(26):2543-2549.

Reed D, West C, Holmboe ES, Halvorsen A, Lipner RS, Jacobs C, McDonald F. Relationship of electronic medical knowledge resource use and practice characteristics with internal medicine maintenance of certification examination scores. J Gen Intern Med. 2012;27(8):917-923.

Hess BJ, Weng W, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS. The association between physicians’ cognitive skills and quality of diabetes care. Acad Med. 2012;87(2):157-63.

Reed DA, West CP, Holmboe ES, Halvorsen AJ, Lipner RS, Jacobs C, McDonald FS. Relationship of electronic medical knowledge resource use and practice characteristics with internal medicine maintenance of certification examination scores. J Gen Int Med. 2012;27(8): 917-923.

Holmboe ES, Wang Y, Meehan TP, Tate JP, Ho SY, Starkey KS, Lipner RS. Association between maintenance of certification examination scores and quality of care for medicare beneficiaries. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(13):1396-1403.

Practice Assessment

Weng W, Hess BJ, Lynn LA, Lipner RS. Assessing the quality of osteoporosis care in practice. J Gen Intern Med. 2015. May [Epub ahead of print]

Chesluk BJ, Reddy S, Hess B, Bernabeo E, Lynn L, Holmboe ES. Assessing interprofessional teamwork: Pilot test of a new assessment module for practicing physicians. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2015; 35(1): 3-10.

Gray BM, Vandergrift JL, Gao G, McCullough JS, Lipner RS. Website ratings of physicians and their quality of care. JAMA Intern Medicine. 2015; 175(2): 291-293.

Hess BJ, Johnston MM, Iobst WF, Lipner RS. Practice-based learning can improve osteoporosis care. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Oct;61(10):1651-60. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12451.

Reddy SG, Kogan JR, Iobst WF, Holmboe ES. The ABIM's clinical supervision practice improvement module and its effect on faculty's supervisory skills. Acad Med. 2012 Nov;87(11):1632-8. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31826c43ba.

Kolasinski VA, Price DW. Maintenance of certification part IV quality-improvement project for hypertension control: a preliminary retrospective analysis. Perm J. March 2015;19(2):36-40.

Bernabeo EC, Reddy SG, Ginsburg S, Holmboe ES. Professionalism and maintenance of certification: Using vignettes describing interpersonal dilemmas to stimulate reflection and learning. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2014; 34(2): 112-122.

Lipner RS, Weng W, Caverzagie KJ, Hess BJ. Physician performance assessment: prevention of cardiovascular disease. Adv Health Scie Educ. 2013; 18(5):1029-45.

Hess BJ, Weng W, Lynn LA, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS. Setting a fair performance standard for physicians' quality of patient care. J Gen Intern Med. 2011;26(5):467-473.

Holmboe ES, Weng W, Arnold GK, Kaplan SH, Normand SL, Greenfield S, Hood S, Lipner RS. The comprehensive care project: measuring physician performance in ambulatory practice. Health Serv Res. 2010 December;45(6):1912-33.

Weng W, Hess BJ, Lynn LA, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS. Measuring physicians' performance in clinical practice: reliability, classification accuracy, and validity. Eval Health Prof. 2010;33(3):302-20.

Hess BJ, Lynn LA, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS. Toward better care coordination through improved communication with referring physicians. Acad Med. 2009;84(10 Suppl):S109-12.

Duffy FD, Lynn LA, Didura H, Hess BJ, Caverzagie K, Grosso L, Lipner RS, Holmboe ES. Self-assessment of practice performance: development of the ABIM practice improvement module (PIM). J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2008;28(1):38-46.

Holmboe ES, Lynn LA, Duffy FD. Improving the quality of care via maintenance of certification and the Web: an early status report. Perspect Biol Med. 2008;51(1):71-83.

Lipner RS, Weng W, Arnold GK, Duffy FD, Lynn LA, Holmboe ES. A three-part model for measuring diabetes care in physician practice. Acad Med. 2007;82(10 suppl):S48-52.

Simpkins J, Divine G, Wang M, Holmboe ES, Pladevall M, Williams LK. Improving asthma care through recertification: a cluster randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(20):2240-8.

Holmboe ES, Meehan TP, Lynn LA, Doyle P, Sherwin T, Duffy FD. Promoting physicians' self-assessment and quality improvement: the ABIM diabetes practice improvement module. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2006;26(2):109-19.

The Public Expects It

American Board of Medical Specialties. Facts about the ABMS consumer survey: lifelong learning and other qualities in choosing a doctor (pdf). ABMS;2011.

Freed GL, Dunham KM, Clark SJ, Davis MM, Research Advisory Committee of the American Board of Pediatrics. Perspectives and preferences among the general public regarding physician selection and board certification. J Pediatr. 2010;156(5):841-5.

Brennan TA, Horwitz RI, Duffy FD, Cassel CK, Goode LD, Lipner RS. The role of physician specialty board certification status in the quality movement. JAMA. 2004;292(9):1038-43.

Physicians Value It

Gallagher TH, Prouty CD, Brock DM, Liao JM, Weissman A, Holmboe ES. Internists' attitudes about assessing and maintaining clinical competence. J Gen Intern Med. 2014; 29(4): 608-614.

Kilo CM. Commentary: maintenance of certification: moving forward. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(2):176-177.

Levinson W, Holmboe ES. Commentary: maintenance of certification in internal medicine: facts and misconceptions. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(2):174-176.

Lipner RS, Bylsma WH, Arnold GK, Fortna GS, Tooker J, Cassel CK. Who is maintaining certification in internal medicine--and why? A national survey 10 years after initial certification. Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(1):29-37.