By Oren K. Fix, MD, MSc, FAASLD, Chair, MOC Committee
On March 29, ABIM announced details on the alternative assessment pathway they are developing in response to external pressures to replace the 10-year secure recertification (MOC) exam. The new format, called “Knowledge Check-In”, will allow certified diplomates the option to take a shorter assessment every two years instead of the 10-year secure exam (now called the “Long-Form Assessment”).
Visit ABIM’s Changes to MOC Assessment for full FAQs on both options. Some highlights:
- Beginning in 2018, certified internists and nephrologists can choose to take a Knowledge Check-In every two years on a personal or work computer, or at a testing center.
- ABIM tentatively plans to roll out the alternative assessments to other subspecialties in 2019 and 2020, with GI expected in 2019 and transplant hepatology in 2020.
- The IM and Nephrology pilots in 2018 will have “no consequence”, meaning an unsuccessful performance will not have a negative impact on certification, so ABIM can learn from the experience.
- The Knowledge Check-In (2-year) will be offered 4-6 times during the year and about 3 hours will be allotted with an optional break.
- Security will be assured through recording and spot-checking (as opposed to live proctoring).
- Results will be immediately available.
- The Knowledge Check-In will be “lower stakes”, meaning certification will not be lost for an unsuccessful attempt. Additional steps will be required to maintain certification after two consecutive unsuccessful assessments (including taking the “long-form” 10-year exam).
- Both the 2-year and 10-year formats will be open-book, with access to an external resource, and will test the breadth of the discipline.
On April 7, AASLD participated in the ABIM’s Liaison Committee for Certification and Recertification (LCCR) meeting and Internal Medicine Summit. There are many questions that remain and we anticipate continued dialogue with ABIM and the internal medicine community to address these issues:
- How much will MOC cost? ABIM expects to announce revised MOC payment options this fall 2017.
- What external resource will be available during the assessments? This is unclear, but UpToDate is a likely candidate.
- When will ABIM introduce customization or specialization into their assessments? ABIM is exploring the option of focusing assessments on a subset of knowledge relevant to an individual’s practice, and they may work with societies to develop topic blueprints.
- What feedback will be available after the assessments to allow diplomates to assess knowledge gaps and improve? ABIM plans to provide detailed score reports cross-referenced with exam blueprints.
- Will ABIM consider other assessment options or pilots proposed by subspecialty societies? ABIM is exploring pilot assessments with a select few societies to create a set of guiding principles.
- Will ABIM reinstate the MOC part IV practice assessment requirement? ABIM’s requirement to complete practice assessment activities is suspended until December 31, 2018. ABIM hasn’t stated that it will return but has alluded to it. An announcement is expected by the end of this year.
- When will the transplant hepatology blueprint review take place? ABIM has decided not to conduct a transplant hepatology blueprint review, citing concerns about statistical validity among other issues.
AASLD will continue to develop activities and products to help you earn MOC credit toward recertification, and we will continue to keep you informed of new developments in this area. We are committed to supporting an MOC process that is less burdensome and less expensive than the current process, and we believe that MOC should support lifelong learning rather than lifelong testing that does not provide value and relevance to patient care. It remains to be seen whether the “knowledge check-in” will satisfy these criteria.