AMA PRA Credit System

MOC requirements modified for internal medicine physicians


The maintenance of certification (MOC) program will change for internal medicine physicians, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced Tuesday, apologizing that the organization “clearly got it wrong” and launched MOC programs that “weren't ready.” The program’s changes align with principles the AMA called for last year.

The ABIM changed its once-every-10-years MOC program last year to a more continuous one, a move that was met with criticism among internists and medical societies. Physicians at the 2014 AMA Interim Meeting voted to update the AMA’s MOC policy, emphasizing the need for an evidence-based process that is evaluated regularly to ensure physicians’ needs are being met and activities are relevant to clinical practice. The new policy also encouraged specialty boards to investigate alternative approaches to MOC.

In June, the AMA and American Board of Medical Specialties convened stakeholders in Chicago to discuss Part III of the MOC exam, focusing on the value of MOC Part III and innovative concepts that could potentially enhance or replace the secure exam requirement of MOC.

“We are delighted that the ABIM is listening to physicians’ concerns and recognizes the need to better align the requirements of its MOC program with physician learning and practice improvement needs,” the AMA said in a statement. “The AMA will continue to work with the appropriate organizations to ensure the MOC process supports physicians' ongoing learning and practice improvement.”

The ABIM said it would:

  • Suspend the practice assessment, patient voice and patient safety requirements of the program for at least two years, effective immediately
  • Change the language used to publicly report a diplomate’s MOC status on the ABIM website within the next six months, from “meeting MOC requirements” to “participating in MOC”
  • Update the internal medicine MOC exam to focus on making the exam more reflective of what physicians in practice are doing, with changes to be incorporated beginning in the fall of 2015
  • Keep MOC enrollment fees at or below 2014 levels through 2017
  • Assure new and more flexible ways for internists to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge by the end of 2015

The changes will affect internal medicine’s more than 20 subspecialties, ABIM’s press release said.

Get more information about the ABIM announcement and the changes to the MOC program at the organization’s website.