Enroll & Understand Policies for Maintenance of Certification
To participate in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), you must first enroll in the program:
- Log in to your Physician Home Page.
- You will be prompted to update your contact information and complete a Practice Characteristics Profile.
- Before you electronically sign your enrollment application, you will be asked to read the following statement:
“By this application to the American Board of Internal Medicine (“ABIM”), I agree to be bound by the terms, conditions, and rules set forth in ABIM's Policies and Procedures for Certification and in this website, as they may be amended from time to time.
I understand that by applying, I am entering into a contract with ABIM to provide certain health care operations services, including practice assessment and evaluations. The ABIM HIPAA Business Associate Agreement is a part of this contract.
I agree to indemnify, release, and hold harmless ABIM, its employees, officers, directors, members, agents, and those furnishing information about me to ABIM from any claims, liability, or damage by reason of any of their acts or omissions, done in good faith, in connection with: this application; information furnished to or by ABIM; the evaluation of my qualifications; ABIM examinations; the enforcement of ABIM's Policies and Procedures for Certification, and the policies for recertification outlined on ABIM's website, as well as all terms, conditions, and rules set forth in this website, as they may be amended from time to time; and any other action taken with respect to any certification or recertification granted by ABIM.
I understand that all ABIM materials are protected by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. I further understand that ABIM examinations are trade secrets and are the property of ABIM. Access to all such materials, as further detailed below, is strictly conditioned upon agreement to abide by ABIM's rights under the Copyright Act and to maintain examination confidentiality.
I understand that ABIM examinations are confidential, in addition to being protected by federal copyright and trade secret laws. I agree that I will not copy, reproduce, adapt, disclose, solicit, use, review, consult or transmit ABIM examinations, in whole or in part, before or after taking my examination, by any means now known or hereafter invented. I further agree that I will not reconstruct examination content from memory, by dictation, or by any other means or otherwise discuss examination content with others. I further acknowledge that disclosure or any other use of ABIM examination content constitutes professional misconduct and may expose me to criminal as well as civil liability, and may also result in ABIM's imposition of penalties against me, including but not limited to, invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, suspension, revocation of certification, and other sanctions.
With respect to ABIM's Medical Knowledge Modules and ABIM PIMs Practice Improvement Modules®, I agree that I will not copy, reproduce or make any adaptations of such materials in any manner; and will not assist someone else in the infringement or misuse of these ABIM-copyrighted works.
I understand that ABIM utilizes data forensic techniques that use statistical analyses of test-response data to identify patterns of test fraud, including cheating and piracy.
I also understand that ABIM may use my examination performance, training program evaluations, self evaluations of knowledge and practice performance, and other information for research purposes, including collaboration with other research investigators and scientific publications. In such research, ABIM will not identify specific individuals, hospitals, or practice associations. Any practice performance data that includes Protected Health Information is maintained in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
I hereby declare under penalty of perjury that the information given in my application is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and beliefs.
I agree to be legally bound by the foregoing.”
Cost to Enroll
Your Maintenance of Certification (MOC) enrollment fee is valid for 10 years and includes one secure examination and access to an unlimited number of ABIM self-evaluation products. There is a separate fee for each additional exam taken, in the event that you are maintaining multiple certifications or if you are re-attempting to pass an exam.
All Specialties (except Hospital Medicine)
- Enrollment fees:
- $1,675 for physicians who only hold certification in Internal Medicine
- $1,840 for physicians who have held or currently hold a subspecialty certification
- $775 for each additional exam
- $500 for international test center fee
Diplomates currently certified by another member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) are eligible for a 30% discount of the MOC enrollment fee.
Hospital Medicine, Focused Practice
- Enrollment fees:
- $2,055 for physicians not enrolled in MOC
- $2,220 for physicians not enrolled in MOC who already hold a subspecialty certification
- $380 for physicians already enrolled in MOC
- $775 additional exam fee for enrolled physicians who have already taken an MOC exam
Note: If your current MOC enrollment expires before you complete the Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine MOC program requirements, you will need to re-enroll in MOC.
Credit card – Payment can be made online by American Express, VISA, MasterCard or Discover immediately upon enrollment. To make a payment by credit card at any other time, please call our secure, 24-hour automated payment system at (888) 423-2007. You will need your six-digit ABIM ID or invoice number.
- If your application for enrollment in the MOC program is not approved, you will receive a refund less a $240 processing fee for internal medicine or $405 for a subspecialty.
- If you withdraw from the MOC program before completing any self-evaluation modules, you will receive a partial refund. A processing fee of $240 for internal medicine or $405 for a subspecialty will be retained.
- Once you have completed a self evaluation module or an exam, refunds are no longer available.
- Your MOC exam credit will be reinstated in cases where you cancel your MOC exam in accordance with the MOC Exam cancellation policy.
Participation in Maintenance of Certification
Internists and subspecialists certified in 1990 or later (1987 for Critical Care Medicine and 1988 for Geriatric Medicine) must complete the program to maintain certification. Everyone else is strongly urged to participate.
It is easy to participate if you are renewing more than one certificate, e.g., internal medicine and a subspecialty. You earn your 100 points of self-evaluation only once and apply the points to each certificate you renew. Discounted fees are offered for renewing a certificate issued by ABIM and another ABMS member Board.
In general, you do not need to maintain ABIM certification in Internal Medicine to recertify in a subspecialty; however, a few exceptions apply:
Diplomates must hold current, valid ABIM certification in either Internal Medicine or a subspecialty to be eligible for renewal of certification in:
- Adolescent Medicine
- Hospice and Palliative Medicine
- Sleep Medicine
- Sports Medicine
Diplomates must hold current, valid ABIM certification in Cardiovascular Disease to be eligible for renewal of certification in:
- Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology
- Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
- Interventional Cardiology
Diplomates must hold current, valid ABIM certification in Gastroenterology to be eligible for renewal of certification in:
- Transplant Hepatology
Timing for Completing the Requirements
- ABIM strongly recommends spreading the self-evaluation and exam components over the duration of your certification.
Read advice from one physician.
- Give yourself ample time to complete the program by enrolling no later than the fourth year after certification. You must be enrolled in the program to schedule an exam.
- You may schedule your exam appointment and take the exam any time beginning in years six of your certification.
- Important: Completion of the PIM will take two to six months.
- When you complete the program, you will be eligible to receive a new certificate.
- ABIM will issue your new certificate when your old one expires
- If you have a time-limited certificate that has expired or if you hold a time-unlimited certificate, your new certificate will become effective in the year you complete the program.
- Your name and Certification dates will be listed on the "Check for Certification" page of www.abim.org and in the Directory of Board-Certified Internists, published by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you withdraw before completing any self-evaluation modules or taking an exam you will receive a partial refund; ABIM retains a $240 processing fee for internal medicine and a $405 processing fee for subspecialties. No refunds are processed after you complete a module or take an exam.Top
Update Contact Information
ABIM requires your current contact information, including your mailing address, e-mail address and telephone number.
Please contact ABIM as soon as possible if your e-mail address changes as it is our primary means of communicating important information to you.
Change Address, Phone Number or E-mail
You may update your address, phone number and e-mail online.
Change Your Name
ABIM uses your full, official name in its records. To change your name, or to correct the spelling of your name, you must notify ABIM in writing.
Send the change and documentation of the change (i.e., copy of marriage certificate, naturalization papers, court order of name change, etc.) to:
American Board of Internal Medicine
510 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3699
fax 215-446-3590 (use this fax number for name changes only)
e-mail email@example.com (if you can provide documentation in digital form; e.g., pdf)
Any future mailings you receive from ABIM will be mailed under your new name. Your former name will be listed as an "alternate" name in our system. Both forms of your official name will be listed in the database and will appear upon a search of your Certification status in the "Verify a Physician Certification" section of the site.
Correct the Spelling of Your Name
Provide both the correct and incorrect spelling of your name and your ABIM ID and/or social security number. In addition, please indicate how your name should be listed in our records, by providing your full first, middle and last names.
Request a Preferred Name
When you become certified, you may request to have a "preferred" name printed on your ABIM certificate (i.e., nickname, hyphenated last name, middle initial only, maiden name, etc.). However, ABIM maintains your full, official name in its records and will change it only if you inform ABIM of an official name change and provide documentation of the name change.Top
Other Important Policies
Note: ABIM refers to the American Board of Internal Medicine in the following policy statements.
ABIM's Evaluations and Judgments
Candidates for certification and Maintenance of Certification agree that their professional qualifications, including their moral and ethical standing in the medical profession and their competence in clinical skills, will be evaluated by ABIM, and ABIM’s good faith judgment concerning such matters will be final.
ABIM may make inquiry of persons named in candidates' applications and of other persons, such as authorities of licensing bodies, hospitals, or other institutions as ABIM may deem appropriate with respect to such matters. Candidates agree that ABIM may provide information it has concerning them to others whom ABIM judges to have a legitimate need for it.
ABIM makes academic and scientific judgments in its evaluations of the results of its examinations. Situations may occur, even through no fault of the candidates, that render examination results unreliable in the judgment of ABIM. Candidates agree that if ABIM determines that, in its judgment, the results of their examination are unreliable, ABIM may require the candidates to retake an examination at its next administration or other time designated by ABIM.
ABIM also may evaluate candidates' or diplomates' fitness for Board Certification – including their professionalism, ethics and integrity – in disciplinary matters, and ABIM's good faith judgment concerning such matters will be final.
ABIM/ABMS Reciprocal Credit for Dual-Boarded Diplomates
ABIM-certified physicians who are dual-boarded by one or more of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) 24 member boards are eligible to receive self-evaluation credit in ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program (i.e., ABIM will waive their Self-Evaluation of Medical Knowledge and Self-Evaluation of Practice Performance requirements).
To receive credit, ABIM diplomates will need to attest that they are current and participating in the other board's MOC program. Diplomates will still need to meet the other ABIM MOC requirements:
- maintain a valid, unrestricted and unchallenged medical license
- pass a secure ABIM MOC examination
- meet any ABIM-specific subspecialty-specific procedural requirements
- Upon attesting, credit is applied to the physician's ABIM MOC Status Report.
- ABIM will randomly audit attestations. Providing false or misleading information could result in disciplinary action by ABIM, including certificate revocation and reporting of misrepresentation to state medical licensing boards.
- Physicians will be required to complete a new attestation form every two years in order to continue to receive ABIM MOC credit. When due, a link will appear on their personal ABIM home page and a reminder e-mail will be sent to their e-mail address on file with ABIM.
ABIM diplomates participating in the Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (FPHM) program will not be eligible to participate in this program due to FPHM program requirements.
Reporting Certification Status
Beginning January 2014, ABIM is changing the way we report a physician's certification status. For all diplomates, regardless of when they were initially certified, ABIM, in addition to reporting certification status, will report whether or not diplomates are “Meeting MOC Requirements.”
On a candidate's written request to ABIM, the following information will also be provided in writing: (1) that an application for certification or Maintenance of Certification is currently in process and/or (2) the year the candidate was last admitted to examination.
Representation of Board Certification and Board Eligibility Status
Physicians must accurately state their ABIM Board Certification or Board Eligibility status at all times. This includes descriptions in curriculum vitae, advertisements, publications, directories and letterheads.
Please note: ABIM does not authorize the use of its logo by others. Diplomates with expired time-limited certification or those whose certification is suspended or revoked may not claim ABIM Board Certification and must revise all descriptions of their qualifications accordingly. Additionally, a candidate who does not meet the requirements for Board Eligibility set forth above may not represent himself or herself as Board Eligible. Diplomates who have multiple certifications and allow one of them to lapse should revise their public materials (letterhead, business cards, advertisements, etc.) to reflect those certifications that are currently valid.
A physician who misrepresents his or her Board Certification or Board Eligibility status may be subject to disciplinary sanctions, including the revocation or suspension of the physician’s Board Certification or eligibility to participate in the certification or Maintenance of Certification processes.
Errors and Disruptions in Examination Administration
Occasionally problems occur in the creation, administration and scoring of examinations. For example, power failures, hardware and software problems, human errors or weather problems may interfere with some part of the examination process. When such problems occur and ABIM determines that they have compromised the integrity of the examination results, ABIM will provide affected candidates with an opportunity for re-examination. Re-examination shall be the candidate's sole remedy. ABIM shall not be liable for inconvenience, expense or other damage caused by any problems in the creation, administration or scoring of an examination, including the need for retesting or delays in score reporting. In no circumstance will ABIM reduce its standards as a means of correcting a problem in examination administration.
ABIM considers the Certification or recertification status of its candidates and board-certified physicians to be public information.
ABIM provides an internist's or subspecialist's Certification status and personal identifying information, including address and social security number, to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which publishes The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists. FSMB and ABMS use personal identifying information, including social security numbers, as a unique internal identifier and maintain the confidentiality of this information. On request, ABIM provides a diplomate's Certification status and address to professional medical societies and other organizations that provide ABIM-sanctioned educational resources and products used for self-assessment of medical knowledge or practice performance in the Maintenance of Certification program.
ABIM provides residency and fellowship training directors with information about a trainee's prior training and pass/fail status on certifying examinations. If a trainee has given permission, ABIM will provide the program director with the trainee's score on his/her first attempt at the Certification examination for that area of training. ABIM uses examination performance, training program evaluations, self evaluations of knowledge and practice performance, and other information for research purposes, including collaboration with other research investigators and scientific publications. In such research, ABIM will not identify specific individuals, hospitals or practice associations. Any practice performance data that includes Protected Health Information is maintained in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
ABIM reserves the right to disclose information it possesses about any individual whom it judges has violated ABIM rules, engaged in misrepresentation or unprofessional behavior, or shows signs of impairment.
ABIM candidates and diplomates for certification and Maintenance of Certification must possess a permanent, valid, unrestricted, and unchallenged medical license in the United States, its territories or Canada. Physicians practicing exclusively abroad and who do not hold a U.S. or Canadian license, must hold a license where they practice and provide documentation from the relevant licensing authority that their license is in good standing and without conditions or restrictions. Restrictions include but are not limited to conditions, contingencies, probation, limitations and stipulated agreements.
A physician with a restricted, suspended, revoked or surrendered license in any jurisdiction is not eligible to be certified, recertified or admitted to a certification or maintenance of certification examination. ABIM will suspend or revoke the Board Certification of any diplomate who has a suspended, revoked or surrendered license in one or more jurisdictions and no valid license in any jurisdiction. A diplomate who has a suspended, revoked or surrendered license in one or more jurisdictions but who continues to hold a valid license in another jurisdiction – or a diplomate whose license in any jurisdiction has been restricted – may be subject to disciplinary sanctions, including the suspension or revocation of the physician's Board Certification.
ABIM (ABIM) recognizes that some candidates have physical limitations that make it impossible for them to fulfill the requirement for proficiency in performing procedures. For such individuals, the procedural skills requirement may be waived. Program directors should write to ABIM for an exception before the individual enters training or when the disability becomes established.
For additional information about the process and documentation requirements, please refer to: Take the Exam: Testing Accommodations for Exam Takers with Disabilities.
If a candidate or an ABIM-certified physician has a history of substance abuse, documentation of at least one year of continuous sobriety from a reliable monitoring source must be submitted to ABIM for admission to an examination or to receive a certificate. ABIM treats such information as confidential.
Those who take ABIM examinations have a continuing obligation to maintain examination confidentiality. See Copyright and Examination Non-Disclosure Policy on the inside cover of this document.
All ABIM examinations are administered in secure testing centers by test administrators who are responsible for maintaining the integrity and security of the certification process. Test administrators are required to report to ABIM any irregular or improper behavior by a candidate, such as giving or obtaining information or aid, looking at the test material of others, removing examination materials from the test center, taking notes, bringing unauthorized items, including electronic devices (e.g., beepers, pagers, cell phones, etc.), into the examination, failing to comply with time limits or instructions, talking or other disruptive behavior. Test administrators may intervene to stop any of the foregoing. In addition, as part of its effort to assure exam integrity, ABIM utilizes data forensic techniques that use statistical analyses of test-response data to identify patterns of test fraud, including cheating and copyright infringement. ABIM investigates all irregularity reports.
Irregular or improper behavior in examinations that is observed, made apparent by data forensics or statistical analysis, or uncovered by other means will be considered a subversion of the certification process and will constitute grounds for invalidation of a candidate's examination and subject the candidate to disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or revocation of Board Certification or eligibility to participate in the certification or Maintenance of Certification processes. Failure to fully cooperate with an ABIM investigation also may be considered unprofessional conduct and constitute grounds for disciplinary sanctions.Top
Disciplinary Sanctions and Appeals
ABIM may, at its discretion, rescind a diplomate's Board Certification if the diplomate was not qualified to receive the certificate at the time it was issued, even if the certificate was issued as a result of a mistake on the part of ABIM.
ABIM may impose disciplinary sanctions, including the suspension or revocation of Board Certification or participation in the certification or Maintenance of Certification processes, invalidation of an examination, or other professional sanctions, if ABIM obtains evidence that in its judgment demonstrates that a candidate or diplomate: (1) has had a license to practice medicine restricted in any jurisdiction, has surrendered a license but continues to hold a valid license in another jurisdiction, or has had one or more licenses suspended or revoked but continues to hold a valid license; (2) engaged in irregular or improper behavior or other misconduct in connection with an ABIM examination; (3) made a material misstatement of fact or omission in connection to ABIM with an application, or misrepresented his or her Board Certification or Board Eligibility status to anyone; (4) failed to maintain moral, ethical or professional behavior satisfactory to ABIM; or (5) engaged in misconduct that adversely affects professional competence or integrity.
In the event ABIM obtains such evidence, it shall so notify the physician in writing. Such notification shall: (1) advise the physician that the ABIM Credentials and Certification Committee (“CCC”) will determine on behalf of ABIM, no fewer than forty-five days after the date of the notice, whether to recommend any disciplinary sanction; (2) summarize the evidence in ABIM's possession; (3) include copies of any documentary evidence in ABIM's possession; (4) provide the physician an opportunity to make a written submission to the CCC; (5) disclose the policy(ies) and/or procedure(s) pursuant to which ABIM may recommend a sanction, and the possible sanction(s); (6) advise the physician that the failure to respond timely to the notice may be considered unprofessional and weighed against the physician by the CCC; and (7) advise the physician that if the CCC recommends a sanction, the physician would have a right of appeal with an in-person or telephonic hearing before a panel designated by ABIM's Board of Directors.
In the event the CCC determines to recommend a disciplinary sanction, it shall so notify the physician in writing. Such notification will: (1) set forth the factual bases for such determination; (2) summarize the reasons for such determination; (3) advise the physician of his or her right to request an appeal of the CCC's determination; (4) advise the physician that any request for an appeal must be submitted to ABIM within thirty days of the date of the notice of the CCC's determination; (5) provide procedural information about the appeal process; (6) advise the physician that if a hearing is requested, ABIM will provide notice of the members of the appeal panel and the date, time, and if applicable, place of the hearing at least forty-five days in advance of the hearing; and (7) advise the physician that while a recommended sanction is not final and does not affect a physician's Board Certification status, a physician who is subject to a recommended sanction is not eligible to participate in the certification process. If a physician declines to appeal a recommended sanction, the recommended sanction determined by the CCC shall become the final decision of ABIM.
An appeal of a recommended sanction shall be determined by a panel consisting of three non-ABIM employee physicians designated by ABIM's Board of Directors and including at least one member of the Board of Directors (an “Appeal Panel”). An Appeal Panel shall have the discretion to affirm, rescind, or modify a recommended sanction, or impose an alternative sanction. In advance of each appeal hearing ABIM shall provide each member of the Appeal Panel and the physician appellant with copies of the documentary record for the physician's sanction and appeal proceeding. In its consideration of an appeal of a recommended sanction, an Appeal Panel shall not be bound by any technical rules of evidence, shall consider any information timely submitted by or on behalf of the physician at any stage of the proceeding, and shall hold a hearing. At an appeal hearing, the physician and/or the physician's counsel may present information and, subject to the Appeal Panel's discretion, witnesses. ABIM's counsel may ask questions of the physician, the physician’s counsel, and any witnesses. Appeal hearings shall be transcribed by a professional stenographer. After reaching a decision, an Appeal Panel shall notify the physician of its decision in writing. Such written decision shall include the factual bases of the decision and a summary of the reasons for the decision. The decision of the majority of an Appeal Panel shall be the final decision of ABIM.
The foregoing sanction and appeal procedures shall apply to matters arising on or after July 1, 2013. Earlier arising matters will be handled in accordance with ABIM's policies and procedures previously in effect.
Notwithstanding these procedures, ABIM reserves the right to revoke or suspend a diplomate's Board Certification summarily in extraordinary circumstances.
ABIM, in its sole discretion, may notify local credentialing bodies, licensing bodies, law enforcement agencies, program directors, impaired physicians advocacy groups, or others of any final disciplinary sanctions.
To regain Board Certification after a suspension, the physician must comply with such conditions as ABIM may impose and successfully complete ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program.
Copyright and Examination Non-Disclosure Policy
All ABIM materials are protected by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. Access to all such materials, as further detailed below, is strictly conditioned upon agreement to abide by ABIM's rights under the Copyright Act and to maintain examination confidentiality.
ABIM examinations are confidential, in addition to being protected by federal copyright and trade secret laws. Candidates and diplomates who undertake examinations agree that they will not copy, reproduce, adapt, disclose, or transmit examinations, in whole or in part, before or after taking an examination, by any means now known or hereafter invented. They further agree that they will not reconstruct examination content from memory, by dictation, or by any other means or otherwise discuss examination content with others. Candidates and Diplomates further acknowledge that disclosure or any other use of ABIM examination content constitutes professional misconduct and may expose them to criminal as well as civil liability, and may also result in ABIM's imposition of penalties against them, including but not limited to, invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, suspension, revocation of certification and other sanctions.
With respect to ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) products, including its Medical Knowledge Modules and ABIM PIMs Practice Improvement Modules®, candidates agree that they will not copy, reproduce or make any adaptations of such materials in any manner; and will not assist someone else in the infringement or misuse of these or any other ABIM-copyrighted works.
Competency in Technology
Consistent with the ABMS/ACGME General Competencies in Systems-Based Practice, ABIM requires its candidates and diplomates to possess sufficient competencies in information technology, including the use of personal computers, the Internet, and e-mail, for correspondence and completion of examinations and modules throughout their participation in ABIM Certification and Maintenance of Certification programs.
Candidates who are unsuccessful on a Maintenance of Certification exam can re-take the exam during any future exam administration. There is no restriction on the total number of opportunities for re-examination.
There is a separate re-examination policy for initial certification exams. Please read this policy if you are planning to take an initial certification exam.Top