The American Board of Internal Medicine recently released two proposed pathways for its maintenance of certification program. The American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases has objected to these proposals.
Here's what you need to know:
1. At present, ABIM requires physicians to take an exam every 10 years to maintain certification. ABIM has proposed to replace this 10-year exam with either a two or five year alternative in which diplomates would take one remote open-book exam every two or five years.
2. The two and five year alternatives are described as "low-stakes," because failure of an exam will not lead to an immediate loss of certification. The diplomate will be able to take the next exam and continue on the pathway to certification maintenance — however, failure of two exams in a row will require the diplomate to pass the traditional 10-year exam.
3. The gastroenterology societies say they are in favor of maintenance of certification reform and support the effort to create low-stakes, open-book exams.
4. AGA states that the proposals "fall short of our principles of individualization, lifelong education and low-stakes testing" and asks ABIM to recognize practice specialization within the certification process and to promote "lifelong learning as opposed to lifelong testing," among other principals.