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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.

Evaluation of Requests

After the candidate makes a request for a testing accommodation and submits the necessary supporting documentation, ABIM will conduct a review of the impairment and testing accommodation requested. This review is conducted at no expense to the candidate. Where appropriate, the review may include an assessment of the supporting documentation by an outside expert engaged by ABIM for this purpose.

This review will entail an assessment of the following issues:

  1. Does the candidate have a disability? In other words, does the candidate have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities as compared to most people in the general population?
  2. Will the candidate’s disability prevent the results of the applied-for examination from accurately reflecting the candidate’s medical knowledge or clinical judgment or other factor the examination measures?
  3. Would provision of the requested accommodation enable the results of the applied-for examination to accurately reflect the candidate’s medical knowledge or clinical judgment or other factor the examination measures?
  4. Would the requested accommodation fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test, or would it impose an undue burden on ABIM?
  5. If ABIM cannot provide the requested accommodation of a candidate with a disability, are there alternative accommodations that can be made available to the candidate?

The determination of each of these issues will be made in accordance with applicable ADA principles.

Notification of Approval or Refusal

Upon completing its review of a candidate’s request for an accommodation and all supporting documentation, ABIM will notify the candidate in writing of its determination regarding the requested accommodation and the basis for that determination. Once granted, a testing accommodation will be offered for any future examination administration.

If ABIM declines to accommodate the candidate because it has concluded that the requested accommodation either constitutes a fundamental alteration or an undue burden, ABIM will notify the candidate of any available alternative methods of accommodation which it is prepared to offer. If no alternative accommodations can be identified by ABIM, it will inform the candidate of this fact and invite the candidate to identify any other form of testing accommodation that he or she wishes to be considered.

Requests for Reconsideration

If a candidate is dissatisfied with ABIM's determination concerning his or her request for accommodation, the candidate may request a reconsideration of the determination. To do so, the candidate must send a letter to ABIM stating in detail why the candidate believes the determination was incorrect. The candidate should include with this letter any additional documentation that the candidate wishes ABIM to consider. Requests for reconsideration must be received by ABIM within 60 calendar days of the date appearing on ABIM's written determination concerning the candidate’s request for accommodation. Requests for reconsideration should be addressed to:

Special Exams Coordinator
American Board of Internal Medicine
510 Walnut Street, Suite 1700
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Requests for reconsideration will be reviewed by the leadership of ABIM. Upon review, ABIM may grant or deny the request or seek additional information from the requesting candidate.

If a request for reconsideration is successfully resolved after the applicable registration deadline, ABIM cannot guarantee that the candidate will be able to sit for the current examination with an accommodation, particularly when the accommodation requires time-intensive preparation, such as special formatting. In such cases, registered candidates are welcome to sit for the examination in the current administration without accommodation or to request a refund for the examination fee.