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Medical Knowledge

Medical knowledge modules test you on both evolving and established knowledge in your field.

To meet MOC requirements, you must earn at least 20 medical knowledge points every five years. Options include:

ABIM's Medical Knowledge Modules

ABIM medical knowledge modules allow you to perform a diagnostic self-assessment of your strengths and weaknesses in important aspects of the knowledge base underlying each certification area.

Most ABIM modules are worth 10 MOC points and are comprised of multiple-choice questions. Most have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Each ABIM medical knowledge module should be completed in a timely manner. The modules are not assigned due dates until the content becomes outdated due to being replaced by a new version or retired from the MOC program. Physicians working on a module that becomes outdated will receive an e-mail message on the date that it is replaced or retired notifying them of a 90-day deadline to complete the outdated version of the module they ordered.

ABIM has a standard process for evaluating changes in medicine that affect questions in the Annual Update medical knowledge modules. When any questions are identified as compromised by new information, ABIM will adjust the answer key so that diplomates are not adversely affected in their overall module score. This interim scoring is used until the next scheduled module revision, when affected questions can be replaced or updated. At all times, diplomates are advised to answer the questions according to their current understanding of clinical principles and practice.

Successful completion of each module is determined by the use of a performance standard set by ABIM. If a module has not been completed successfully, you may retake the module as often as necessary, without additional charge.

Note: While ABIM medical knowledge modules for subspecialties are available to all ABIM board certified physicians, they are targeted to those who have earned certifications in these areas. ABIM encourages you to select modules that fit your self-assessment goals.

See a list of Modules and Products by specialty.

ABIM Annual Update Modules

  • ABIM MOC Points: 10
  • CME Credit: These activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
  • Format: Web-based
  • Content: 25 to 30 multiple-choice questions

The ABIM Annual Update modules* are designed to facilitate self-assessment of medical knowledge regarding important recent advances that are changing practice in each certification discipline. As formative assessments, the modules are “open book” and intended to encourage self-directed learning. In contrast, the ABIM Certification and Maintenance of Certification exams are summative assessments of essential knowledge, diagnostic reasoning and clinical judgment that span the content of the discipline. Therefore, the ABIM Annual Update modules do not comprehensively address the content covered in the ABIM exams. Each module is written by a committee of content experts certified by ABIM in the designated discipline, separate and distinct from the committee that writes the ABIM exam for that discipline.

As self-assessments that address relatively new information, Update module questions may be more challenging to answer correctly than exam questions. To accommodate ongoing changes in medical knowledge and practice, ABIM monitors and revises Update module content as needed to ensure its currency.

Your feedback is encouraged to assist the Update committees in maintaining the quality and relevance of these modules. Please send your comments to MedicalKnowledge@abim.org.

Note: While ABIM medical knowledge modules for subspecialties are available to all ABIM board certified physicians, they are targeted to those who have earned certifications in these areas. ABIM encourages you to select modules that fit your self-assessment goals.

See a list of Modules and Products by specialty.

ABIM Care for the Underserved Module

  • ABIM MOC Points: 10
  • CME Credit: None
  • Format: Web-based
  • Content: 25 multiple-choice questions focusing on the evidence base around caring for diverse populations, with the goal of improving health care for medically underserved populations and closing well-documented disparities in care. Topics covered include:
    • The concepts of health disparities and health care disparities as well as their underlying causes.
    • Effective communication with patients of diverse socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds and varying literacy levels.
    • Issues that must be considered when making clinical and administrative decisions related to underserved populations.
    • New research on patient preferences, legal issues, cultural competency, health literacy and practice systems as well as clinical practice guidelines.

This module is applicable to physicians maintaining certification in any area.

Order this module

ABIM Point-of-Care Clinical Question Module

The Point-of-Care (POC) Clinical Question Module is a Web-based tool that allows you to document, in a way that facilitates reflection, the characteristics, pursuit and answers to your emerging clinical questions, and the resulting evidence-based learning points and potential practice changes.

The POC module differs from other ABIM medical knowledge modules in that, instead of answering multiple choice questions, you will be asked to generate and pursue questions that arise directly from the clinical scenarios you encounter. In addition, you will be asked to document your search strategy and will be provided a summary of your learning characteristics. This module is applicable to physicians maintaining certification in any area.

  • ABIM MOC Points: 20
  • CME Credit: None
  • Format: Web-based. Includes hyperlinks to online resources, some of which require a personal or institutional subscription.
  • Content: Documentation of the successful pursuit of at least 20 clinical questions that arise from your practice. You will be asked to:
    • Choose the clinical scenario that stimulated your question.
    • Select the closest medical content area into which your question falls.
    • Classify your question as either foreground or background and the clinical task that triggered the question.
    • Frame your foreground questions using the PICO (patient-intervention-comparison-outcome) format to facilitate more efficient searching.
    • Document whether you sought information in real time and the time you spent.
    • Classify the online and offline resources you used in your search.
    • State the “bottom line” based on your search.
    • View a summary report and reflect on whether this new knowledge changed your practice and any barriers in researching or applying it to your patient.
    • Complete an action plan.

This module is applicable to physicians maintaining certification in any area.

Order this module

ABIM Clinical Skills Module

The clinical skills medical knowledge module addresses physical exam skills and interpersonal/communication skills. It is presented on CD-ROM, which is mailed to the address on record upon order. You must have Internet access to submit your answers to ABIM for scoring. You must have Internet Explorer to run the CD-ROM; this module is not supported for Apple computers.

Each question contains one or more video, audio or photographic enhancement simulating clinical scenarios showing:

  • auscultation of the heart and lungs;
  • interpretation of percussion notes;
  • choice of examination maneuvers; and,
  • physician-patient interactions.

Upon successful completion of this module, physicians should be able to assess underlying causes of symptoms, communicate effectively with patients, and make decisions requiring ethical judgment.

  • ABIM MOC Points: 14
  • CME Credit: This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
  • Format: CD with Web access. Internet Explorer required. Each question contains one or more video, audio or photographic enhancement simulating clinical scenarios showing auscultation of the heart and lungs, interpretation of percussion notes, choice of examination maneuvers and physician-patient interactions.
  • Content: 44 questions on basic physical examination and clinical communications skills.

This module is recommended for internists.

Order this module

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Medical Simulations

Medical Simulation

Earn 20 points of MOC credit by completing a medical simulation, which provides hands-on opportunity to perform cases that mirror what a physician would typically face in daily practice.

Research shows simulations are a successful tool in the assessment of physician performance.

Simulations are completed on-site at Medical Simulation Corporation's SimSuite® education centers, and are also offered at several meetings and conferences throughout the year.

Simulations currently offered by ABIM

Interventional Cardiology – Four ABIM-developed cases (For Interventional Cardiologists only)

Locations

Medical Simulation Corporation SimSuite® Center at:

  • Medical Simulation Corporation headquarters, Denver, CO

How to register

  • In order to register, you must be enrolled in MOC.
  • Select “Interventional Cardiology Simulations” under Interventional Cardiology on the Order Self-Evaluation Module page. You will be linked to the Medical Simulation Corporation website for additional details to complete your registration.
  • The cost of the session is covered by your MOC fee. However, ABIM will charge you a $35 fee if you cancel, fail to arrive or reschedule your appointment within a week of the session date. You are responsible for the cost of travel to a SimSuite® education center.
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Completing Medical Knowledge Modules

Each ABIM medical knowledge module should be completed in a timely manner. The modules are not assigned due dates until the content becomes outdated due to being replaced by a new version or retired from the MOC program. Physicians working on a module that becomes outdated will receive an e-mail message on the date that it is replaced or retired notifying them of a 90-day deadline to complete the outdated version of the module they ordered.

  • Successful completion of each module is determined by the use of a performance standard set by ABIM. If a module has not been completed successfully, you may retake the module as often as necessary, without additional charge.
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Self-Assessment Products Developed by Other Professional Organizations

Medical knowledge self-assessment providers may submit products to ABIM for recognition in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Physicians who complete these products will be granted MOC points by ABIM. To be eligible for MOC, products must provide the following:

  • a learning and self-assessment activity that is relevant to the scope of practice of ABIM diplomates
  • unbiased, science-based, peer-reviewed, up-to-date content
  • appropriate performance feedback
  • objective evidence of successful completion

Some ABIM-recognized medical knowledge self-assessment products may also be designed or advertised to help physicians prepare for ABIM Certification or MOC exams. However, ABIM product recognition for MOC denotes only that a particular product has met the criteria above. ABIM does not endorse or authorize “board preparation” programs, nor does it recommend specific educational activities for ABIM exam preparation.

Review the list of Modules and Products to see all products that are recognized for use in ABIM's MOC program.

Important reminders:

  • Contact the respective organization directly for more information and details about ordering and completing these products.
  • Self-evaluation points toward MOC credit will vary by product.
  • To receive MOC credit for non-ABIM products, you must be currently enrolled in MOC.
  • The providing organization may charge an additional fee.
  • Fees charged by these organizations are separate from ABIM's MOC fee.
  • ABIM does not grant CME credit for other organizations' self-assessment products.
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Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC)

Earn 20 points of MOC credit by completing a quality improvement activity using the Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC) website, an online resource that supports physicians in assessing their knowledge of current quality improvement principles and practices, and applying that knowledge to their current work situation.

The website will allow you to:

  • Assess your current Quality Improvement knowledge and skills
  • Develop a learning plan and enhance your QI knowledge and skills through use of six interactive learning modules
  • Develop and implement a plan to improve performance in your practice or current work situation
  • Assess and reflect on the impact of your improvement efforts

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for activities completed through the Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC) is available directly through the HISC website, and is not provided or tracked by ABIM.

How to register:

ABIM diplomates enrolled in MOC have free access to the resources and activities on the HISC website.

  • Login and select “Healthcare Improvement Skills Center (HISC)” under “Other” on the Order a Medical Knowledge Module page. You will be linked to the HISC website for additional details to complete your registration.
  • In order to receive MOC points, you must complete all sections and modules.