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August 2015

The American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification Program: Cocreating the Future

Author Affiliations
  • 1The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(8):699-700. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.0888

For more than 80 years, board certification has signified that physicians have met standards set by their peers. Although certification originated as a “lifetime” credential, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and other specialty boards transitioned to time-limited certification in the late 1980s in recognition that medical knowledge changes over time.1 ABIM diplomates with time-limited certifications had to recertify every 10 years through Maintenance of Certification (MOC), which consisted of participating in self-evaluation of medical knowledge and practice assessment, holding an unrestricted license to practice medicine, and passing a comprehensive examination. In January 2014, ABIM added patient safety and patient voice requirements to the program and implemented policies requiring more continuous MOC participation.

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