Individuals who are appointed to serve on ABIM boards or committees are expected to have ABIM's mission as their primary interest when contributing to ABIM's work and therefore must adhere to our policies. In order to more effectively achieve its mission, ABIM has adopted a structure that consists of six entities:
Board of Directors
The size of the ABIM Board of Directors varies from 12 to 15 members. Membership is comprised of leaders in quality improvement, health care delivery systems, medical education and other important aspects of internal medicine. At least 75% of Directors must have current clinical practice experience and at least 30% of the Directors have experience with ABIM exam development. Up to 20% of members may be non-internist or public Directors. All physician Directors must meet the requirements of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.
- Determine and advance ABIM's mission and strategic policies, and to ensure the primacy, relevance and value of ABIM Board Certification.
- Be external-facing and future-focused in setting the direction and strategy for the organization, including setting overall goals and long-range plans for the organization.
- Establish fiscal policy and provide adequate resources for the activities of the organization.
- Develop and maintain links and relationships to its constituencies and the community.
- Exercise ultimate fiduciary responsibility and authority.
The ABIM Council establishes and pursues the continuous improvement of program standards, policies and procedures governing the requirements for Certification and MOC. The size of the Council varies between 14-17 members, including 1-2 non-physician experts. It has physician representation from the breadth of internal medicine specialties in which ABIM confers certification. The Council sets policies and creates frameworks to guide Specialty Boards in developing discipline-specific approaches to Certification and MOC.
The Council's role is to:
- Determine requirements for Certification and MOC across internal medicine and its subspecialties.
- Harmonize ABIM standards with those of other recognized physician education and assessment initiatives.
- Set and integrate operational policies and procedures across the Specialty Boards.
- Evaluate proposals for new specialties/focused practice areas.
Specialty Boards and Advisory Committees
The Specialty Boards are composed of 6-8 physician members certified in the discipline and 1-2 non-physician experts. Advisory Committees are composed of physician members from each ABMS Co-Sponsor Board and two non-physician experts report to the Co-Sponsoring Committee for each discipline.
Together, these members are responsible for the broad definition of the discipline across Certification and MOC, assuring that the credential speaks to the evolving needs of the discipline. Specialty Boards and Advisory Committees have oversight of the Approval Committees and are responsible for making Certification and MOC meaningful and relevant credentials in their discipline.
The role of the Specialty Boards and Advisory Committees are to:
- Define, refine and set standards in Certification and MOC in the discipline.
- Perform oversight/review of performance assessments in the discipline.
- Build partnerships with societies and other organizational stakeholders in support of ABIM work.
ABIM Approval Committees are typically composed of 5-6 physician members certified in the discipline.
Approval Committee members play a crucial role in defining their respective disciplines. ABIM has designated Approval Committees for 20 disciplines.
The role of the Approval Committee is to:
- Approve all assessment content
- Ensure currency, accuracy, and relevance of item pools
- Maintain the blueprints for Certification, Maintenance of Certification (MOC), and Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKATM) in Internal Medicine and its subspecialties.
Item-Writing Task Forces
Item-Writing Task Forces, composed entirely of practicing physicians, are responsible for developing exam content for Certification and MOC assessments. Using a combination of traditional and model-based approaches grounded firmly in research, these physicians help scale up content development while increasing quality. As such, the Task Forces are critical to helping ABIM offer physicians more options to meet their assessment requirement.
The role of the Item-Writing Task Forces is to create content for ABIM assessments.