PAMED Initiates Dialogue with ABIM on Facilitating MOC Improvements

Last Updated: Jun 12, 2019

stethoscope-books-handThe Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) believes in ensuring that the maintenance of certification process (MOC) is fair, relevant, and meaningful for all physicians. In April 2019, we shared that message in this letter to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

We acknowledged ABIM’s efforts to improve MOC through initiatives like the two-year Knowledge Check-In and outlined our suggestions for further improvements. The letter from PAMED’s Board Chair John Gallagher, MD included recommendations such as:

  • Offering an alternative option to both the Knowledge Check-In and the ten-year Knowledge Exam
  • Creating new mechanisms for Diplomates to demonstrate competency in Part III
  • Providing a summary of how the physician answered the case assessments compared to best practices and/or peers
  • Reviewing data from the alternative assessment mechanism to understand how well physicians did with case scenarios and which topic areas were most challenging
  • Conducting a brief physician satisfaction survey within a 24- to 36-month timeframe

“PAMED would like to work with the ABIM to facilitate improvements such that the recertification process may eventually be viewed  as more relevant and meaningful to ABIM diplomates,” said Dr. Gallagher in PAMED’s letter.

ABIM’s Response to PAMED

ABIM President and CEO Richard Baron, MD, MACP responded to PAMED’s letter on May 31, 2019. He agreed that transformation needs to be an ongoing and continuous process, and he outlined several of the MOC changes that ABIM has made in addition to the Knowledge Check-in, including:

  • Establishing Collaborative Maintenance Pathways (CMP) with the American College of Cardiology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Introducing a 1-year grace period for physicians who are unsuccessful at passing an assessment at least every ten years
  • Removal of the requirement for quality improvement (“Part 4”) MOC activities and moving to a “recognize and reward” model
  • Removing the requirement for maintenance of an underlying certificate

“ABIM is actively exploring offering the option of longitudinal assessment approaches to accomplish the desired goals,” said Dr. Baron. ABIM said that it is interested in ongoing, collaborative conversations with PAMED in order to foster the goal of creating meaningful education that leads to improved patient care.

Read ABIM’s response.

PAMED is committed to and will continue to advocate for practical, evidence-based, and affordable life-long learning. You can check out our advocacy efforts on MOC at  

Leave a comment