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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.

Professional Integrity & Exam Ethics

This section addresses questions about appropriate and inappropriate practices for candidates and diplomates participating in the Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) processes. Upholding the integrity of these processes is critical to our ability to fulfill our mission: to enhance the quality of health care by certifying internists and subspecialists who demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for excellent patient care. As part of this commitment to the medical profession and the public, ABIM holds its candidates and diplomates to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. These standards are outlined in ABIM's Policies and Procedures for Certification, and include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing complete and truthful information in connection with the application process;
  • Accurately reporting all information required as part of the Certification and MOC processes;
  • Acting ethically in connection with examinations, including by keeping the contents of ABIM exams confidential and by preparing for exams using study materials that do not include ABIM exam content; and
  • Correctly representing Board Certification and Board Eligibility status.

ABIM candidates and diplomates should familiarize themselves with the policies governing copyright and exam non-disclosure, exam ethics, licensure and representation of Board Certification and Board Eligibility status.

While most candidates and diplomates proudly and faithfully uphold these standards, our responsibility to the medical profession and the public requires us to take any violations of ABIM policies very seriously. If a candidate or diplomate violates ABIM policies or otherwise engages in unethical or unprofessional behavior, ABIM may, among other things:

  • Invalidate an examination;
  • Exclude the candidate or diplomate from future examinations;
  • Suspend or revoke certification;
  • Take legal action; and,
  • Report final disciplinary sanctions to local credentialing bodies, program directors, licensing bodies, impaired physicians advocacy groups or law enforcement agencies.

Candidates and diplomates should familiarize themselves with ABIM's policies concerning disciplinary sanctions and appeals.