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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.

Changes to MOC Requirements

Below are some questions and answers to help you navigate ABIM's current Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, including the decision to not require some MOC requirements through 12/31/2018.

What changes to the MOC program requirements were announced in 2015?

ABIM has extended the policy announced on 2/3/15 and will not require Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety in its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program through 12/31/18.

ABIM leadership has made changes so that practicing physicians will have a say to make sure we get it right. Going forward, ABIM will continue its dialogue with the community about the MOC process, ensuring that it remains relevant and valued by physicians and their patients and reflects a set of common values shared by internists.

Because internists do such complex work that varies so much across disciplines, ABIM will engage our specialty boards to work with the physician community and specialty societies to develop, articulate and build an MOC program that embodies professionally shared and continuously evolving values about what it means to be an internist.

How will these changes improve the program, make it better?

ABIM has heard physicians' concerns and their input led to several significant programmatic changes over the last two years. The changes will reduce the burden on diplomates while ABIM works in close partnership with physicians and medical specialty societies to develop a more relevant and meaningful MOC program. Involving the community more closely in co-creating ABIM's assessments can only make them better.

If my certificate is expiring this year, do I have to do a Practice Assessment activity?

No. ABIM has extended the decision to not require Practice Assessment in its MOC program through 12/31/2018. As long as you have earned 100 points (with at least 20 Medical Knowledge points), you will have met the points requirement.

What if I've already completed a Practice Assessment activity? What happens to my MOC points?

The MOC points you earned will still count toward your MOC points requirements. And Practice Assessment activities will still be available to you and you can use them to earn MOC points.

Do I still have to do a Patient Voice or Patient Safety activity?

No. ABIM has extended the decision to not require Patient Voice and Patient Safety in its MOC program through 12/31/18. No requirements will be added back to the program without input from the physician community.

ABIM will continue to provide MOC credit for approved Patient Voice and Patient Safety activities.

What is new about the IM MOC exam?

ABIM has updated the Internal Medicine MOC exam blueprint to ensure the exam reflects what physicians in practice are doing. The updated blueprint was implemented starting with the Fall 2015 Internal Medicine MOC Exam.

Blueprint review is part of ABIM’s ongoing work with the internal medicine community to continually update all MOC exams to ensure their continued relevance to physicians in practice. ABIM is implementing a process that will give all ABIM Board Certified physicians the opportunity to participate in annual blueprint review. This process will be introduced for some specialties in 2016, and will be rolled out across all ABIM specialties over the next two years.

Why can't I just do any CME to maintain certification?

We have recently expanded the options available for MOC points through a partnership with ACCME.

Visit ACCME's website to view the list of CME activities that count for ABIM MOC points. ACCME will update the list regularly as more activities are added.

How am I publicly reported on the website?

For all ABIM Board Certified physicians, in addition to certification status, ABIM reports whether or not you are “participating in MOC” (i.e., continuously engaging in MOC activities). Participation in MOC means that a physician is demonstrating that s/he participates in keeping up, using clearly defined continuing learning and education activities. This applies to all ABIM Board Certified physicians, including physicians who hold a certification that is valid indefinitely.

Does the enrollment fee freeze include both the annual and 10-year fees?

Yes, both the annual and 10-year fees will remain at or below the 2014 level through at least 2017.

What do you mean you will be listening to the community?

ABIM wants to listen to the perspectives of practicing physicians to make sure we get it right going forward, and we can't prejudge what is going to come out of those conversations. ABIM is creating a number of ways for physicians to share their thoughts on how to make the MOC program more meaningful. If there is one thing we have learned during the past couple of years, it is that internists are a very diverse community with varied opinions about what ABIM should be doing.

To stay informed about the ongoing discussions we are having and opportunities to provide input, be sure to subscribe for regular updates from the Transforming ABIM blog and please e-mail your thoughts to rbaronmd@abim.org.

Is the MOC program still in place? Do I still need to take an exam?

Yes. The ABIM MOC program is still in effect. Learn more about the current MOC requirements.

The 10-year MOC exam remains our best approach for assessing physicians' knowledge. Accordingly, it remains an essential part of the MOC program.

Passing the MOC exam for your certification within 10 years of when you last passed is still a requirement of the MOC program.