Internal medicine physicians will no longer need to maintain underlying certifications for nine subspecialties, according to the American Board of Internal Medicine. The change in policy, which was passed unanimously by the ABIM Council, was spurred by outrage among internal medicine physicians about the time, money, and effort spent to meet maintenance of certification requirements and what those testing fees were actually going towards.
According to ABIM, the new policy will go into effect on January 1, 2016 and diplomates certified in the following nine subspecialties of internal medicine will no longer need to maintain underlying certifications to stay certified in those areas:
- Maintaining Cardiovascular Disease certification will no longer be required to maintain certification in Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Interventional Cardiology and Adult Congenital Heart Disease
- Maintaining Gastroenterology certification will no longer be required to maintain certification in Transplant Hepatology
- Maintaining another certification will no longer be required to maintain certification in Adolescent Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, Sleep Medicine and Sports Medicine
All ABIM diplomates will be able to choose the certifications they wish to maintain.
“Working with the specialty societies and ABIM Board Certified physicians was a critical part of this process,” said Jeanne M. Marrazzo, MD, Chair of the ABIM Council. “Their feedback made it clear that the MOC policy on underlying certifications needed to change. This collaborative approach helped us reach a decision that more accurately corresponds to the way physicians actually practice, allowing them the option to focus only on MOC activities relevant to their practice. We know that some physicians practice in more than one area and may choose to maintain both – but now all physicians have a choice.”
The full announcement can be found on the ABIM site.