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ABIM Announces Knowledge Self-Assessment Module Focused on Care for the Medically Underserved


Philadelphia, PA, April 29, 2010 – The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) will begin offering internists and subspecialists in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program a knowledge assessment option focused on improving health care for medically underserved populations and closing well-documented disparities in care. The first MOC tool of its kind developed by any American Board of Medical Specialties member board, the ABIM module, “Care for the Underserved,” was developed by internationally recognized experts in the disparities arena.

ABIM medical knowledge modules allow physicians in internal medicine and its subspecialties to examine knowledge strengths and weaknesses in important clinical areas. The “Care for the Underserved” module focuses upon the evidence base around caring for diverse populations. ABIM medical knowledge modules are open-book, Web-based assessments that engage physicians in lifelong learning and periodic self-assessment for Maintenance of Certification credit. The module has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

The module comprises 25 multiple-choice questions, many of which present patient-based clinical vignettes and ask respondents to select a correct diagnosis, treatment or management approach. The vignettes are based upon the latest research and examine:

  • 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 related to underserved populations that must be considered when making clinical and administrative decisions; and
  • New research on patient preferences, legal issues, cultural competency, health literacy and practice systems as well as national position statements and clinical practice guidelines.

Upon successful completion of the module, physicians are provided with evidence-based rationales for the correct answers as well as bibliographic references for further study.

“Many physicians do not think they treat patients of one background differently from another, but the evidence very strongly suggests that they do,” said Talmadge King, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, and Chair of the ABIM Underserved Advisory Committee. “Our hope is that this module will help physicians understand the challenges and opportunities in treating diverse populations and ultimately improve the care they deliver to all patients.”

Advisory Committee members who developed the Care for the Underserved module include:

  • Marshall H. Chin, MD, MPH, FACP, Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago
  • Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH, FACP, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management and Health Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • F. Daniel Duffy, MD, MACP, FAACH, Dean, University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine
  • Alicia Fernandez, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • Talmadge E. King Jr., MD, FCCP, MACP Chair, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • Donald E. Wesson, MD, Vice Dean, Texas A&M College of Medicine, Chief Academic Officer, Scott and White Healthcare
  • Laura F. Wexler, MD, FAHA, FACC, Senior Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Admissions, Professor of Medicine/Cardiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

For media inquiries, contact Lorie Slass at 215-399-4005 or 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.