Dear ASCO Member:
Over the past year the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has engaged with ASCO and other stakeholders to listen to the concerns of physicians and redesign their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. We have advocated for reform and the ABIM is responding. The following changes have already been approved by the ABIM:
- If you are dual boarded (for example, internal medicine and medical oncology) by one or more of the other American Board of Medical Specialties member boards, the need to maintain the underlying certificate for the primary specialty has been eliminated; and
- All ACCME accredited providers developing CME activities may now also offer MOC points for these activities.
In 2013 the ABIM commissioned a task force to develop a vision for the future of assessment for certification and recertification of internal medicine and its associated subspecialties. Last month, they released their report, A Vision for Certification in Internal Medicine in 2020. The report outlines several significant recommendations for change, including:
- Reconsider the "high stakes" examination (recertification exam) and replace it with a series of low-stakes modular assessments that might be completed at home or in the workplace and might be 'open-book'. A more formal evaluation would be required only in the absence of satisfactory completion of the low-stakes assessments. This model would likely eliminate the current self-assessment component (prior part 2 knowledge self-assessment activities) of the MOC program.
- Focus assessment on relevant cognitive and technical/procedural skills appropriate to the specialty. This will eliminate the prior Part IV requirement and offer an opportunity for customization of MOC according to a physician's practice. For example, recertification may be focused on specific tumor types such as hematologic malignancies or breast cancer.
While we recognize that these recommendations will require approval of the ABIM Board of Directors, we are hopeful that the Board will act swiftly to implement these changes. We have had ongoing discussions with the ABIM over the past few years regarding the needed changes in the recertification process and are encouraged by these changes and the openness of ABIM to consider additional modifications.
The ABIM has also expressed a desire for more innovative approaches to the redesign of the recertification process. ASCO has formed a task force with the charge to formulate a recertification process that is personalized, aligned with physicians' practice and knowledge needs, and integrated into ongoing physician activities. I look forward to reporting their ideas and recommendations during the coming year.
We appreciate all of your input and engagement with this issue. Please continue to provide your insights and concerns regarding the ongoing changes in the redesign of the recertification process. We are committed to developing a recertification process that is efficient, meaningful and meets the continuing education goals of practicing oncologists.
Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO