American Board of Internal Medicine

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The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is a non-profit, independent physician evaluation organization committed to continuously improving the profession for the public good by certifying physicians who practice internal medicine and its sub-specialties. It is not a membership society, educational institution or licensing body but an organization that assess the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of quality patient care. ABIM has issued more than 425,000 initial certificates in internal medicine and its subspecialties in the United States and its territories since its founding.[1]From 2001- 2013 ABIM certified 91,024 physicians in general internal medicine.[2] From 2001-2013 ABIM certified more than 10,000 cardiologists and more than 6,400 medical oncologists.[3] More than 140,000 physicians – including more than 8,000 physicians holding certifications that hold certifications which are valid indefinitely -- are currently enrolled in ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification program.

Richard J. Baron is ABIM's current President and CEO. In order to more effectively achieve its mission, ABIM recently adopted a new governance structure that now consists of three entities:

  • Board of Directors
  • ABIM Council
  • Specialty Boards

History[edit]

ABIM, the largest of 24 member certifying boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties was established in 1936 by the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians to be an independent evaluator of physicians. Since that time, ABIM has worked to ensure a high level of competence in the American health system by certifying physicians who practice internal medicine in one or more of its 20 subspecialties.

Certification[edit]

ABIM Board Certification demonstrates that physicians have met rigorous standards through intensive study, self-assessment and evaluation. Additionally, certification encompasses the six general competencies established by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and sets the stage for continual professional development through values centered on lifelong learning. Following regulations established by the ABMS, in order to be certified, a physician must:

  • Complete the requisite predoctoral medical education
  • Meet the training requirements
  • Meet the licensure requirements and procedural requirements
  • Pass a secure board certification examination

Physicians may become board certified when they have successfully completed residency or fellowship training and by passing a secure examination. Unlike licensure, board certification is not a requirement to practice medicine. However, board certification is widely accepted as a marker of excellence. Most hospitals require internists to be board certified in order to have admitting privileges, and many health plans require certification for contracting or eligibility for select networks.

A growing body of research suggests that

  • a physician’s overconfidence inhibits his or her diagnostic accuracy. A physician’s ability to independently and accurately self-assess is poor[4][5] and more clinical experience does not necessarily lead to better outcomes of care.[6]
  • fewer than 30% of physicians examine their own performance data and try to improve.[7] The MOC program structure tries to address these concerns with a sound theoretical rationale via the six ACGME competencies framework and a respectable body of scientific evidence, and to address its relationship to patient outcomes, physician performance, validity of the assessment or educational methods utilized and learning or improvement potential.[8] [9]

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)[edit]

Research shows that in general, over time, knowledge deteriorates and practice habits and patterns fail to change in response to medical advances. Maintenance of Certification (recertification) promotes lifelong learning and enhancement of the clinical judgment and skills essential for high quality patient care. Every 10 years, some internists and subspecialists certified in or after 1990 renew their certifications through ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program

ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program changed in January 2014. The program now requires physicians to:

  • Possess a valid medical license
  • Earn MOC points (points count toward all certificates you are maintaining)
  • Some MOC activity every two years
  • 100 MOC points every five years
  • Patient Survey and Patient Safety
  • Pass MOC exam in your specialty every 10 years


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ABIM. Number of candidates certified. Feb. 11, 2014. http://www.abim.org/pdf/data-candidates-certified/Number-Certified-Annually.pdf
  2. ^ ABIM. Number of candidates certified. Feb. 11, 2014. http://www.abim.org/pdf/data-candidates-certified/Number-Certified-Annually.pdf
  3. ^ ABIM. Number of candidates certified. Feb. 11, 2014. http://www.abim.org/pdf/data-candidates-certified/Number-Certified-Annually.pdf
  4. ^ Meyer AD, Payne VL, Meeks DW, Rao R, Singh H. Physicians’ Diagnostic Accuracy, Confidence, and Resource Requests: A Vignette Study. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(21):1952-58. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1731967
  5. ^ Davis DA, Mazmanian PE, Fordis M, Van Harrison R, Thorpe KE, Perrier L. Accuracy of physician self-assessment compared with observed measures of competence: A systematic review. JAMA. 2006;296(9):1094-1102.
  6. ^ Eva KW, Regehr G. "I'll never play professional football" and other fallacies of self-assessment. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2008;28(1):14-19.
  7. ^ Choudhry NK, Fletcher RH, Soumerai SB. Systematic review: The relationship between clinical experience and quality of health care. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(4):260-273.
  8. ^ Audet AM, Doty MM, Shamasdin J, Schoenbaum SC. Measure, learn, and improve: Physicians' involvement in quality improvement. Health Aff (Millwood). 2005;24(3):843-853.
  9. ^ Hawkins RE, Lipner RS, Ham HP, Wagner R, Holmboe ES. American Board of Medical Specialties maintenance of certification: Theory and evidence regarding the current framework. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2013; 33(S1): S7-S19,

External links[edit]