ACC Response to ABIM Report on Vision For Certification and MOC Programs in 2020

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) today released a report entitled “A Vision for Certification in Internal Medicine in 2020,” that was drafted to inform the reshaping of ABIM’s Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs. The report, developed by the Assessment 2020 Task Force which assembled in 2013, aims to “develop a vision for the future of assessment in internal medicine and associated subspecialties”  and to “stimulate discussion” around the future of certification.

According to Task Force Chair Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, “the group sought to envision what the future could be and considered that what is possible tomorrow may be very different from what can be done today.” With that in mind, the report includes three key recommendations that are similar to those being proposed by the ACC on behalf of its members, as well as the rest of the internal medicine community. Specifically, the report proposes to: 1) replace the 10-year MOC exam with more frequent, less burdensome assessments; 2) focus assessments on cognitive and technical skills; and 3) recognize specialization. Read the full report here.

The Assessment 2020 Task Force should be commended for its work over the last two years to gather input from stakeholders and develop this report that will no doubt further discussions around the future of MOC. The ACC is also appreciative of ABIM’s continued willingness to listen and learn from the internal medicine community. ACC’s input to date has resulted in the reversal of the double jeopardy provision; decoupling of the initial board exam from MOC participation; streamlining the ability for practitioners to get both CME and MOC Part II credit; and delaying MOC Part IV, etc.

As evidenced by the report, there is still much to be done despite the changes over the last several months. The College understands the frustration of its members around the current MOC process and the issue continues to be a top priority for the College. In particular, the ACC strongly agrees with the report about the need to develop a new, externally-validated process for measuring competence to replace the 10-year exam – with all deliberate haste! Additionally, the ACC is committed to continuing work with ABIM to research best practices for the maintenance and demonstration of competence with eventual links to patient outcomes, cost and cost-effectiveness.

We are committed to finding a solution or solutions that best meet the professional needs of clinicians, while also giving patients, the public and other stakeholders confidence that the care provided by their physicians is of the highest quality.

5 thoughts on “ACC Response to ABIM Report on Vision For Certification and MOC Programs in 2020

  1. So the burdensome, high-stakes 10-year MOC exam is not meaningful enough to continue per the Assessment 2020 Task Force. It is now indefensible for AIBM to retract board certification on the basis of failing this exam so the 10-year exam is now effectively meaningless. The 10-year MOC exam should be suspended immediately and not in 5 years: while the 10-year MOC exam is meaningless, the physician cost in time, money and stress to take this exam is not.

    • I completely agree with Dr. Dodges on point remarks. The ABIM MOC has always been irrelevant. It has taken we physicians too long and too many dollars to make a forceful objection. With the help of Dr. Paul Teirstein and colleagues we have a reasonable alternative. Certainly more reasonable than the ABIM gun to the head approach.
      For those who aren’t familiar with the alternative pathway visit

  2. No big surprise that the College as decided to capitulate to the ABIM. The ACC still stand to make a fair bit of money off the Board requirements so their self interest rather than the interests of the membership prevailed.

  3. Dr. Krumholz,
    As a member of the ABIM 2020 Task Force, do you have any financial conflicts of interest to report to the FACC? In particular, what types of compensation and benefits have you ever received from the ABIM?

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