AGA has called on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to make changes to their recertification pathway to meet the needs of practicing GIs. We’re pleased that ABIM has listened to our concerns and instituted changes to the program, but we recognize there may be some confusion about what’s expected of you. As we enter 2018, the AGA Education and Training Committee would like to provide you with 10 helpful tips on obtaining and better understanding maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements, and 10 things to know about the new two-year knowledge check-in. AGA will continue to advocate for a recertification pathway that reduces the burden of recertifying, emphasizes learning over testing and assesses diplomates in their areas of practice.
10 Things — MOC Edition
1. MOC compliance applies only to those who were initially certified on or after 1990. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) “strongly urges” those certified prior to 1990 to participate in MOC but they will not lose their board certification status for not participating. For all diplomates, ABIM will report if they are or are not participating in the MOC program.
2. Every two years, a diplomate must complete at least one MOC activity. It does not matter what the activity is nor how many points it is worth, there just needs to be some accumulation of a MOC point(s) once every two calendar years. If this two-year requirement is not met, the diplomate will be reported as “not participating in MOC.”
3. Every five years, a diplomate must earn 100 MOC points. This is required to stay certified.
4. Wondering where you are in this two-year/five-year cycle? The best way to check is to log in to myMOC.
5. The requirement for a certain number of the 100 points to be “Practice Assessment” or “Patient Safety” is currently suspended indefinitely. This does not mean you cannot earn MOC through these MOC activities. It only means that you are not currently required to do so.
6. Every 10 years, a diplomate is due to take a recertification exam.
- If a diplomate’s 10-year exam is due in 2018, he or she must take the 10-year MOC Exam in 2018.
- If a diplomate’s 10-year exam is due in 2019, he or she can choose to take the traditional 10-year Long Format Exam, or to engage in the new two-year Knowledge Check-In.
7. Beginning in fall 2018 (Oct. 17, 2018), the 10-year Long Format Gastroenterology Exam will feature access to UpToDate for part of the exam.
8. In 2019 and beyond, a test-taker (both for the two-year and 10-year options) will be able to access UpToDate within the assessment on the entire exam.
9. When a diplomate takes either the two-year Knowledge Check-In or the 10-year Long Format Exam, they will earn 20 MOC points. This means that once a diplomate takes an exam, they only need to earn 80 MOC points through other activities.
10. Beginning in 2018, ABIM’s fee schedule includes two components:
- An annual program fee, due each calendar year. The MOC program fee is $155 per year, and will cover all the certifications a diplomate is maintaining.
- An assessment fee, which is paid when you register for a traditional 10-year Long Form Exam or the new two-year Knowledge Check-In. The cost is the same over the course of 10 years. It is $1,200 for the traditional exam or $240 every two years for each Knowledge Check-In.
- For more information on MOC fees, visit the ABIM website.
10 Things — Two-Year Knowledge Check-In Edition
1. Beginning in 2019, gastroenterology diplomates have the option to choose a two-year Knowledge Check-In in place of the 10-year Long Form Exam.
2. Those recertifying in transplant hepatology will not have a two-year option until 2020.
3. The Knowledge Check-In is taken at home, work or a testing center.
4. It is a shorter test. It is anticipated to take most diplomates two and a half to three hours to complete.
5. The Knowledge Check-In will be offered four to six times a year.
6. The Knowledge Check-In will only be offered every other year.
- This means that if you are scheduled to recertify in gastroenterology in 2020, you must either take the two-year Knowledge Check-In in 2019 or the 10-year Long Form in 2020.
7. Results will be given immediately following the test-takers completion of the Knowledge Check-In.
8. The first year an exam is offered in a specialty, 2019 for GI, will be a “no consequence” year. This means that if a diplomate chooses to take the Knowledge Check-In in 2019 and does not pass, he or she will not have to take anything again until 2021. There will be no punitive results for not passing the Knowledge Check-In in its inaugural year. This does not mean a diplomate can skip taking an exam (either 10 year or two year) in their scheduled test-taking year. Doing so will result in a loss of board certification.
9. After the inaugural year, if a diplomate waits to take the Knowledge Check-In the year their assessment is due and does not pass, they may have to take the traditional MOC exam the next year.
10. Confused? More information is available from the ABIM. AGA will continue to develop resources to answer your questions on this emerging topic!