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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.

Section: Proposing Candidates for Special Consideration

Internal Medicine

Candidates completing two years of PGY-2 and PGY-3 internal medicine training who have completed three or more years of training in internal medicine abroad or certification in another ABMS specialty

ABIM may grant up to 12 months of PGY-1 credit for candidates who, prior to entering accredited training in the United States or Canada, have completed three or more years of verified internal medicine training abroad or candidates who have completed three or more years of U.S. or Canadian accredited training in another clinical specialty and certification by an American Board of Medical Specialties member Board in that specialty. All approved candidates must satisfactorily complete 24 months of accredited PGY-2 and PGY-3 internal medicine training as a medicine resident to be eligible to apply for admission to the Certification Examination in Internal Medicine. No credit will be granted to substitute for 24 months of accredited PGY-2 and PGY-3 internal medicine training. Candidates who have already completed 12 months of accredited U.S. or Canadian PGY-1 internal medicine training are not eligible to be petitioned for credit.

The candidate must be proposed by the Chairman of a Department of Medicine in an accredited medical school or the program director of an accredited residency in internal medicine. Before being proposed, the candidate should have been observed by the proposer for a minimum of three months. The candidate must demonstrate satisfactory overall clinical competence as an internist. The candidate must complete a minimum of 18 months of direct patient responsibility during the required PGY-2 and PGY-3 training period.

The proposal must:

  • Document the reasons the proposer feels the candidate merits special consideration.
  • Include letters from the program directors abroad documenting three or more years of training in internal medicine, including the exact from-to dates of training, a brief description of the training and confirmation of the candidate's satisfactory clinical competence in the program. Please note that ABIM does not accept certificates of completion of training or certification by other certifying boards as fulfilling this requirement.
  • Include documentation that the candidate's clinical competence has been evaluated and is judged to be satisfactory.
  • Include a copy of the candidate's curriculum vitae and bibliography with current address, phone numbers and e-mail address. This information must clearly list the exact month and year from-to dates of the candidate's postdoctoral training in internal medicine abroad and in this country.
  • Include documentation of certification by an ABMS member board in another clinical specialty, if applicable.
  • Include a non-refundable Special Candidate fee of $300.
  • Include the candidate's date of birth and Social Security / social insurance number.

If the proposal is approved, the candidate must have either a standard certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) without expired examination dates or comparable credentials from the Medical Council of Canada at the time of application for admission to the Certification Examination in Internal Medicine.

Candidates with three or more years of training in internal medicine abroad who are current full-time U.S. or Canadian faculty

Only in rare instances will ABIM consider a proposal on behalf of a candidate with less than two years of accredited training in internal medicine in the United States or Canada. The candidate must be proposed by the Chairman of a Department of Medicine in an accredited medical school or the program director of an accredited residency in internal medicine. Before being proposed, the candidate must have been observed by the proposer for a minimum of three months. The candidate must have completed three or more years of verified internal medicine training abroad and must be a current full-time internal medicine faculty member, holding an appointment at the level of Associate Professor or higher, in an LCME-accredited medical school or an accredited Canadian medical school. In addition, candidates must have completed eight years, after formal training, as a clinician-educator or a clinical investigator in internal medicine with a full-time appointment on a medical school faculty.

The proposal must:

  • Document the reasons the proposer feels the candidate merits special consideration, such as his or her reputation as an outstanding clinician or consultant, unique contribution to medical education and/or research, leadership in the medical community, etc.
  • Include letters from the program directors abroad documenting three or more years of training in internal medicine, including the exact dates of training, a brief description of the training and confirmation of the candidate's satisfactory clinical competence in the program.
  • Describe in detail the candidate's professional training and experience in internal medicine.
  • Be accompanied by at least three letters of endorsement from ABIM diplomates attesting to the candidate's superior clinical competence.
  • Include documentation that the candidate's clinical competence has been evaluated and judged to be superior.
  • Include a copy of the candidate's curriculum vitae and bibliography with current address, phone numbers and e-mail address. This information must clearly list the exact from-to dates of the candidate's postdoctoral training in internal medicine abroad and in this country.
  • Include the candidate's date of birth and Social Security/social insurance number.
  • Include a non-refundable Special Candidate fee of $300.

If the proposal is approved, the candidate must have either a standard certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) without expired examination dates or comparable credentials from the Medical Council of Canada at the time of application for admission to the Certification Examination in Internal Medicine.

The guidelines above do not define pathways or reduce the requirements for admission to the Certification Examination in Internal Medicine. Please ensure that all required documents are included with the proposal. Failure to include all documents will delay the review process.

The complete proposal should be mailed to:

American Board of Internal Medicine
510 Walnut Street, Suite 1700
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3699

Note: Receipt of a proposal does not imply its approval and review of a proposal may take several months.