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ABIM Announces New Examination Score Report and Updated Internal Medicine MOC Examination Blueprint

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Both Projects Supported with Broad Input from the Physician Community

Philadelphia, PA, June 9, 2015 – Input from the internal medicine community has led to improvements in the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) examinations.

Beginning with results of the Spring 2015 exams, physicians will receive enhanced score reports with more information about their performance. ABIM also updated the Internal Medicine MOC blueprint—the exam content outline—to ensure the exam reflects what internists in practice today are doing and to provide more detailed explanations of topics that may be included in the exam. This is the first step in the ongoing process of updating the Internal Medicine MOC Exam.

“Both initiatives reflect ABIM's efforts to listen to physicians and engage the internal medicine community in the design of ABIM programs,” said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of ABIM. “The updates to the score report and Internal Medicine MOC blueprint are early evidence of ABIM's ongoing commitment to ensure that our resources are relevant to physicians working to keep their knowledge current in the rapidly changing field of medicine. Many other efforts of this kind are planned as we continue to work with physicians to design ABIM's programs.”

Enhanced Score Report

  • Starting with the Spring 2015 MOC exams, examinees will receive score reports in a new, electronic format that includes a visual presentation of results, more detailed feedback about missed questions and links to supplemental information.
  • The enhanced, user-friendly score report format was created in collaboration with ABIM Board Certified physicians across several specialties through focus groups, a survey and one-on-one interviews.

“Physicians told us they wanted additional feedback on their exam performance, so the enhanced score report now includes more information about questions they missed to help them determine areas of strength and where they might need to improve,” said Rebecca S. Lipner, PhD, Senior Vice President of Evaluation, Research and Development at ABIM.

Updated Internal Medicine MOC Exam

  • The updated blueprint (pdf) will be implemented starting with the Fall 2015 Internal Medicine MOC Exam and is now available on ABIM's website.
  • The ABIM Internal Medicine Board and Exam Committee, composed of internists with clinical expertise, worked with a representative sample of practicing general internists to inform the blueprint update by rating topics and related tasks for relative frequency and importance in practice.
  • These ratings, along with patient visit data from national surveys, informed adjustments to the distribution of medical content areas on the blueprint.
  • Additionally, the relevance ratings will inform the composition of the MOC examination, ensuring a relevant examination for the general internist who has been in practice.
  • The blueprint now includes a greater level of detail, with a task breakdown in addition to topics covered. It is color-coded to indicate how specific combinations of topics and tasks have been prioritized for selecting MOC exam questions.
  • As indicated on the blueprint, most exam questions will address content rated as high-importance; some questions will address content rated as medium-importance; and no questions will address content rated as low-importance.
  • ABIM is implementing a process that will give all ABIM Board Certified physicians the opportunity to participate in annual blueprint review. This process will be introduced for some specialties by the end of 2015, and will be rolled out across all ABIM specialties over the next one to two years.

“We turned to practicing physicians to help determine what topics to emphasize in the updated Internal Medicine MOC blueprint,” said Nick Fitterman, MD, Chair of the ABIM Internal Medicine Board Exam Committee. “As the practice of medicine changes, ABIM must work closely with the physician community to continuously ensure that our exams reflect foundational knowledge that doctors in practice today need to serve their patients.”

ABIM is committed to working closely with the physician community as its programs evolve. Updates on what ABIM is hearing, opportunities to provide input and information about the changes being made are shared regularly on the Transforming ABIM blog, including recent posts about the new score report and the updated IM MOC blueprint. Subscribe to the blog.

For media inquiries, contact Erin Frantz at press@abim.org.

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.