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ABIM Maintenance of Certification Process

The ABIM MOC requirements vary slightly depending on when your current internal medicine or subspecialty certification expires. Keep in mind that the same MOC points can apply to each certificate you renew; for example, internal medicine and a subspecialty certificate. In other words, you only need to earn 100 points no matter how many certificates you renew.

If your certification expires in 2014-2017
  1. Enroll in the ABIM Maintenance of Certification program (abim.org) and pay the enrollment fee, if you have not already done so.
  2. Earn 100 self-evaluation points by the end of your current certification year (see Earn ABIM MOC Points with ACP)
    • At least 20 in Medical Knowledge
    • At least 20 in Practice Assessment
    • 60 in either area

    Important note: points earned before 1/1/14 will count toward maintaining your existing certificate(s) but will not count toward the new "Meeting MOC Requirements" category. Points earned after 1/1/14 count toward both.

  3. Register for the ABIM exam.
  4. Study for the exam with the help of MOC Exam Preparation Resources from ACP and succeed!

    Upon successful completion of the above steps and assuming you hold a current and valid license, you will be board certified contingent upon "Meeting MOC Requirements" each year.

  5. To be classified as Meeting MOC Requirements before your current certificate expires:
    • Earn some MOC points between 1/1/14 and 12/31/15 (and every subsequent 2 years) and begin working toward the requirement to earn 100 MOC points by 12/31/18, and every 5 years thereafter (see next point).
  6. To be classified as Meeting MOC Requirements after your current certificate expires: Pay the annual or 10-year fee to the ABIM and earn 100 MOC points every 5 years (starting in 2014) as follows:
    • at least 20 points in medical knowledge
    • at least 20 points in practice assessment
    • 20 points for each first exam attempt in each certification area (the exam is a 10-year requirement)
    • Complete a patient voice requirement (Surveys will be one option to meet this requirement. There will be other options which will not require physicians to share any data survey information with ABIM.)
    • Complete an approved patient safety activity
    • Balance of points can be in either medical knowledge or practice assessment
If your certification expires after 2017
  1. Enroll in the new ABIM Maintenance of Certification program (abim.org) and pay the annual or 10-year fee to ABIM.
  2. Earn some MOC points between 1/1/14 and 12/31/15 (and every subsequent 2 years) and 100 MOC points by 12/31/18 (and every 5 years thereafter). (See Earn ABIM MOC Points with ACP.)

    Points must be earned as follows:

    • at least 20 points in medical knowledge
    • at least 20 points in practice assessment
    • Complete a patient voice requirement (Surveys will be one option to meet this requirement. There will be other options which will not require physicians to share any data survey information with ABIM.)
    • Complete an approved patient safety activity
    • 20 points for each secure exam you take (points awarded for first attempt)
    • Balance of points can be in either medical knowledge or practice assessment

    Important note: MOC points earned prior to 1/1/14 do not count towards maintaining your current certificate or the new "Meeting MOC Requirements".

  3. Take and pass the ABIM exam within 10 years of your certification year or by 2023 for those with a lifetime certificate, and every 10 years thereafter. (See MOC Exam Preparation Resources from ACP.)
If you have a lifetime certificate

Deciding whether to participate

Q:
Would being listed on the ABIM web site as Not Participating (?) be important...
The ABIM site would show the following on your record:
Internal Medicine: Certified
Meeting Maintenance of Certification Requirements: No

...to you, either personally or professionally?
...to your patients?
...to your hospital/employer/health plan/insurance payer?

A:

If you answered "Yes" to any of these, you should consider participating. (See below)

If you answered "No" to all of these questions or you aren't sure, please be aware that it is possible to change your status from "Not Participating" to "Participating" at any point in time.

How to meet ABIM requirements if enrolling in 2014

  1. Enroll in the ABIM Maintenance of Certification program (abim.org) and pay the annual or 10-year fee to ABIM.
  2. Earn some MOC points between 1/1/14 and 12/31/15 (and every subsequent 2 years) and 100 MOC points by 12/31/18 (and every 5 years thereafter). (See Earn ABIM MOC Points with ACP.)

    Points must be earned as follows:

    • at least 20 points in medical knowledge
    • at least 20 points in practice assessment
    • Complete a patient voice requirement (Surveys will be one option to meet this requirement. There will be other options which will not require physicians to share any data survey information with ABIM.)
    • Complete an approved patient safety activity
    • 20 points for each secure exam you take (points awarded for first attempt)
    • Balance of points can be in either medical knowledge or practice assessment

    Important note: MOC points earned prior to 1/1/14 do not count towards maintaining your current certificate or the new "Meeting MOC Requirements".

  3. Take and pass the ABIM exam.

    Important note: If you choose not to take the secure exam, or if you take the exam and do not pass, you would be listed on the ABIM website as "Certified, Not Meeting the Requirements of MOC", so your certification status would not be affected.

 

Once you've enrolled in the ABIM's Maintenance of Certification program, you can turn to ACP for help earning the required points and preparing thoroughly for the internal medicine recertification exam. Many internists report that they found the MOC process more fulfilling when they used our resources to earn points and keep up to date.

Earn ABIM MOC Points with ACP

What if I Still Don't Know Where to Start?

Because the rules are complex and may apply differently depending on when you last certified, ACP has developed a MOC Navigator to help you understand MOC. This free tool can help you understand the impact of MOC, review requirements, guide you in selecting ways to meet the requirements, show you how to enroll, and more.

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ACP Advocates to Improve MOC Process

The ABIM and the American College of Physicians are separate entities. ABIM is an independent organization and its certification programs adhere to common standards established by the American Board of Medical Specialties. ACP recognizes the medical profession's responsibility to ensure quality medical care and supports the concept of lifelong learning and professional accountability. ACP does not have a formal role in determining or changing ABIM's certification or recertification exams or other requirements. ACP has been working aggressively to address the concerns about the MOC program expressed by our members and the internal medicine community, and to achieve reform through active discussion with ABIM at many levels.

Read more about how ACP is advocating for internists and representing their concerns.

Related Resources

MOC NavigatorMOC Navigator
A free ACP tool to help you understand the complexities of Maintenance of Certification.

Order MKSAP 16Order MKSAP 16
MKSAP is the leading self-study program to prepare for the ABIM MOC exams in internal medicine and hospital medicine. Plus, complete self-assessment tests and submit online for points.

Live MOC Exam Prep Course ScheduleLive MOC Exam Prep Course Schedule


Orlando, FL - February 13-15, 2015
Washington, DC - March 12-14, 2015
Boston, MA - April 28-29, 2015

Interactive Course RecordingsInteractive Course Recordings
Course recordings offer a comprehensive review of internal medicine, focusing on exam-specific content.

CommunityCommunity
Discuss MOC issues in the Maintenance of Certification Special Interest Group.