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.

When Can You Try It?

Check out these charts to learn more about the rollout schedule and potential outcomes of taking the Knowledge Check-In in a specific year.

Expand All | Collapse All

When is the Knowledge Check-In available in my specialty?

The Knowledge Check-In is available for Internal Medicine and Nephrology in 2018. View the tentative rollout schedule to find out when the Knowledge Check-In will be available in your specialty.

Please note that the Knowledge Check-Ins will be offered every other year from the year they are first offered within a specialty. For example, Knowledge Check-Ins that begin in 2018 will be offered again in 2020. Knowledge Check-Ins that start in 2019 will be offered again in 2021.

What if my Internal Medicine or Nephrology exam requirement is due in 2018 and I try the Knowledge Check-In in 2018...

See chart below to understand how trying the Knowledge Check-in in 2018 may impact you.

Physician A passes the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and in 2020 and 2022. He will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway, and his next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2024.

Physician B fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2018, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. He was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2020 and, since he passed, was able to continue in the two-year assessment pathway. Even though he fails in 2022, he will be able to try the Knowledge Check-In again in 2024.

Physician C passes her Knowledge Check-In in 2018. Even though she fails in 2020, she was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2022. Since she passed in 2022, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway because she did not have two consecutive fails.

Physician D fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2018, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. Unfortunately, he also fails in 2020. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2021 in order to maintain his certification. He can enter the Knowledge Check-In pathway again once he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2021, but he will not have to take another assessment until 2031. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it by 2030 if he wants to get back on that pathway before his next assessment is due.

Physician E passes her first Knowledge Check-In in 2018, but fails in 2020 and 2022. This means she will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2023 in order to maintain her certification.

What if my Internal Medicine or Nephrology exam requirement is due in 2019 and I try the Knowledge Check-In in 2018...

See chart below to understand how trying the Knowledge Check-in in 2018 may impact you.

The Knowledge Check-In will only be available every other year after the first administration in a given specialty. Since the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In for Internal Medicine and Nephrology is in 2018 and it is a “no-consequence” year, physicians due to recertify in 2019 will need to engage the Knowledge Check-In assessment pathway one year early in order to have two chances to pass before having to pass the traditional MOC exam.

Physician A chooses to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and passes. Even though he fails the Knowledge Check-In in 2020, he will be able to continue on the two-year assessment pathway, and his next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2022.

Physician B chooses to take her first Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and fails, but it did not count against her since it was the first administration. She was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2020, but since she fails again, she will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2021 in order to maintain her certification.

Physician C chooses to take the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and passes. Since she passes in 2020, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway. Her next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2022.

Physician D chooses to take his first Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and fails, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. Since he passes in 2020, he will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway. His next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2022.

Physician E chooses to take the traditional MOC exam in 2019. She will not have to take another assessment until 2029 if she passes the traditional MOC exam in 2019. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, she would have to take it in 2028 if she wants to get on that pathway.

What if my Internal Medicine or Nephrology exam requirement is due in 2020 and I try the Knowledge Check-In in 2018...

See chart below to understand how trying the Knowledge Check-in in 2018 may impact you.

For physicians who have an assessment due in 2020 or later, they will be able to engage the Knowledge Check-In assessment pathway before their due year if they want two chances to pass before their assessment is due.

Physician A chooses to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and passes. He also passes in 2020 and 2022. He will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway, and his next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2024.

Physician B chooses to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and fails. It did not count against her, since it was the first administration. She was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2020 and, since she passed, was able to continue in the two-year assessment pathway. Even though she fails in 2022, she will be able to try the Knowledge Check-In again in 2024.

Physician C chooses to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and passes. Even though she fails in 2020, she was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2022. Since she passed in 2022, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway because she did not have two consecutive fails.

Physician D chooses to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and fails. It did not count against him, since it was the first administration. Unfortunately, he also fails in 2020. This means he will have to take the traditional MOC exam in 2021 in order to maintain his certification. He will not have to take another assessment until 2031 if he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2021. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it no later than 2030 if he wants to participate in that pathway.

Physician E chooses to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and passes, but fails in 2020 and 2022. This means she will have to take the traditional MOC exam in 2023 in order to maintain her certification.

Physician F chooses not to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 and fails the Knowledge Check-In in 2020. This means he will have to take the traditional MOC exam in 2021 in order to maintain his certification. He will not have to take another assessment until 2031 if he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2021. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it no later than 2030 if he wants to participate in that pathway.

Physician G chooses not to take the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2018 but passes the Knowledge Check-In in 2020. Whether she passes or fails her next Knowledge Check-In in 2022, she will still be able to take the Knowledge Check-In in 2024.

The Knowledge Check-In opens in my specialty in 2019. What does this mean for me?

If the Knowledge Check-In opens in 2019 for your specialty and you are eligible, you can choose that option.

Because 2019 is the first year the Knowledge Check-In is offered in your specialty, if you’re unsuccessful, you will get at least one additional opportunity to pass it two years later, in 2021.

The chart below illustrates potential scenarios and next steps, depending on whether you pass or fail the Knowledge Check-In:

*For the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2019 for the following specialties: Cardiovascular Disease; Geriatric Medicine; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Gastroenterology; Hematology; Infectious Disease; Pulmonary Disease; and Rheumatology

Physician A passes the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2019 and in 2021 and 2023. She will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway, and her next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2025.

Physician B fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2019, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. He was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2021 and, since he passed, was able to continue in the two-year assessment pathway. Even though he fails in 2023, he will be able to try the Knowledge Check-In again in 2025.

Physician C passes her Knowledge Check-In in 2019. Even though she fails in 2021, she was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2023. Since she passed in 2023, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway because she did not have two consecutive fails.

Physician D fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2019, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. Unfortunately, he also fails in 2021. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2022 in order to maintain his certification. He can enter the Knowledge Check-In pathway again once he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2022, but he will not have to take another assessment until 2032. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it by 2031 if he wants to get back on that pathway before his next assessment is due.

Physician E passes his first Knowledge Check-In in 2019, but fails in 2021 and 2023. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2024 in order to maintain his certification.

The Knowledge Check-In opens in my specialty in 2020. What does this mean for me?

If you take the Knowledge Check-In in the first year it is offered in your specialty and you are unsuccessful, you will get at least one additional opportunity to pass it two years later.

If you wait to take the Knowledge Check-In the year it is due (not in the inaugural year) and fail, you may have to take the traditional MOC exam the next year.

The chart below illustrates potential scenarios and next steps, depending on whether you pass or fail the Knowledge Check-In:

*For the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2020 for the following specialties: Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Critical Care Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Interventional Cardiology, Medical Oncology, Sleep Medicine, and Transplant Hepatology

Physician A passes the first administration of the Knowledge Check-In in 2020 and in 2022 and 2024. He will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway, and his next Knowledge Check-In will be in 2026.

Physician B fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2020, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. He was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2022 and, since he passed, was able to continue in the two-year assessment pathway. Even though he fails in 2024, he will be able to try the Knowledge Check-In again in 2026.

Physician C passes her Knowledge Check-In in 2020. Even though she fails in 2022, she was able to take the Knowledge Check-In again in 2024. Since she passed in 2024, she will be able to continue within the two-year assessment pathway because she did not have two consecutive fails.

Physician D fails his first Knowledge Check-In in 2020, but it did not count against him since it was the first administration. Unfortunately, he also fails in 2022. This means he will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2023 in order to maintain his certification. He can enter the Knowledge Check-In pathway again once he passes the traditional MOC exam in 2023, but he will not have to take another assessment until 2033. Since the Knowledge Check-In is only offered every other year, he would have to take it by 2032 if he wants to get back on that pathway before his next assessment is due.

Physician E passes her first Knowledge Check-In in 2020, but fails in 2022 and 2024. This means she will have to pass the traditional MOC exam in 2025 in order to maintain her certification.