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ABIM, ASCO to create new assessment option for oncologists


Physicians will be able to demonstrate their knowledge in general and specialized cancer care by completing a new pathway to maintain board certification.

Philadelphia, PA, May 17, 2018 – Today, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced that they are working to co-create a pathway to provide doctors with a flexible way to maintain board certification. The work with ASCO reflects real progress in ABIM's efforts to collaborate with medical societies.

Beginning in 2020, oncologists will be able to choose from two different assessment pathways. They may take an ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam every 10 years. Alternatively, they may take a shorter assessment every two years that will be jointly developed by ABIM and ASCO, reflecting the specialization and expertise of oncologists. The shorter assessment pathway will take the place of ABIM's two-year Knowledge Check-In in Medical Oncology that had been planned for 2020.

Oncologists will not need to have an ASCO membership to take the shorter assessment pathway.

A co-created assessment

For the past two years, ABIM has had an open dialogue with thousands of physicians and several medical societies, including ASCO, about ways to enhance the MOC program. Based on these conversations, the performance standards-driven process doctors complete to maintain ABIM board certification is continuing to evolve to be more reflective of how they practice medicine today.

“The new assessment pathway is the result of more than two years of input and feedback from ASCO members, as well as our desire to collaborate with ABIM because of their recognized expertise in assessment. Our dual goals for reshaping the recertification process are to ensure that assessment better reflects the realities of cancer care and recognizes oncologists for their knowledge gained through educational and quality improvement activities,” said ASCO's Chief Executive Officer Clifford Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO.

The new pathway that ABIM and ASCO will develop together represents the latest innovation in the MOC program, which recognizes doctors for demonstrating current medical knowledge through periodic assessments and continuous learning activities over the course of their careers. ABIM will continue to use its expertise to set performance standards, issue certifications and administer the assessment process. ASCO will bring its expertise in the field of oncology to the assessment process as well as educational resources oncologists can use to close knowledge gaps.

Focus on specialization

Part of the new assessment pathway will address core oncology topics and another part will allow doctors to focus on their area of practice.

ABIM and ASCO will communicate directly with oncologists as more details are refined within the next year.

“The ABIM MOC program continues to evolve in new and exciting ways due to our active partnership with medical societies and doctors across the country,” said Richard J. Baron, President and CEO of ABIM. “We are proud to be working with ASCO, truly an innovator in offering excellent educational material in oncology, to co-create a new assessment pathway that upholds standards patients can trust while recognizing oncologists for the specialized knowledge they use to diagnose and treat cancer.”

ASCO Media Contact:
Amanda Narod 571-483-1795

ABIM Media Contact:
John Held 215-446-3572

About American Society of Clinical Oncology
Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world's leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents more than 40,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at www.ASCO.org, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

ABIM Board Certified Doctors Make a Difference
Internists and subspecialists who earn and maintain board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) differentiate themselves every day through their specialized knowledge and commitment to continual learning in service of their patients. Established as an independent nonprofit more than 80 years ago, ABIM continues to be driven by doctors who want to achieve higher standards for better care in a rapidly changing world. Visit ABIM's blog to learn more and follow ABIM on Facebook and Twitter. ABIM is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.