The Internal Medicine MOC exam is one of the harder recertification exams. The first time MOC pass rate is usually around 85%. The eventual pass rate is quite a bit higher, but it’s also a time consuming and expensive process to re-take the exam.
Here are some common questions that we are asked about the Internal Medicine MOC Exam:
How much does the exam cost?
The MOC Program fee is $1940, but each additional exam costs $775 (eg re-takes). There is a $500 international fee if you are taking the exam overseas.
How long does the exam take?
The exam takes one day.
What is the exam format?
The exam consists of multiple choice, single best answer questions only. There are none of the ‘all of the following except’ or multi-select formatted questions. The questions may consist of a statement, brief case history, chart or picture followed by a question and list of possible answers. There are partially correct answers – you’ll need to identify the best choice.
How should I prepare for the exam?
Both the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins offer internal medicine board review guides that candidates may find helpful in preparing for the exam. You may also wish to take a practice assessment online, or use the ABIM’s practice tutorial for a better idea of what type of questions to expect. There is a statistically significant correlation between the number of Internal Medicine Practice Questions that you take and pass rate.
What does the exam cover?
The exam covers the following topics:
- Cardiovascular Disease: 14%
- Gastroenterology: 9%
- Pulmonary Disease: 10%
- Infectious Disease: 9%
- Rheumatology/Orthopedics: 8%
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism: 8%
- Medical Oncology: 7%
- Hematology: 6%
- Nephrology/Urology: 6%
- Allergy/Immunology: 3%
- Psychiatry: 4%
- Neurology: 4%
- Dermatology: 3%
- Obstetrics/Gynecology: 2%
- Ophthalmology: 2%
- Otorhinolaryngology: 2%
What is the context for the exam questions?
Unless explicitly stated otherwise, candidates are to assume the following about the scenarios posed during the exam:
- Arterial blood gas studies are done at sea level
- The patient is breathing room air
- Reticulocyte counts are uncorrected
- Tuberculin skin tests are done with purified protein derivative (PPD) at intermediate strength
- Electrocardiograms are recorded at normal standard and speed
- Lung volumes are determined by body plethysmography
How is the exam scored?
The internal medicine MOC exam is scored on a pass-fail basis. The decision is based on the candidate’s performance on the exam as a whole. Questions that are not answered are marked as incorrect, therefore it is in the candidate’s best interest to answer every question.
What happens if there is a significant change in medicine between the time I sign up for the exam and the time the exam is scored?
The American Board of Internal Medicine has a standard procedure in place for changes in medicine that occur too late to replace or revise examination questions. If you believe one of the questions on the test might be affected, you are advised to answer it to the best of your understanding based on current clinical practice and procedures.