ABIM: ‘Record numbers’ for MOC enrollment

The American Board of Internal Medicine released data on its maintenance of certification enrollment figures, and said the numbers set a new record.

“A substantial majority of internists have chosen to engage in the American Board of Internal Medicine's newly revised Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program by the May 1 deadline to be reported as ‘Meeting MOC Requirements.’ As of May 1, nearly 150,000 physicians were enrolled in ABIM's MOC program—an increase of more than 50,000 since ABIM launched its new program requirements in January,” the organization announced in a press release.

Recently, ABIM responded to widespread criticism of the new MOC program requirements. “Since the program launched on January 1, ABIM has received feedback from medical societies and physicians in practice, some of whom believe the program is onerous, expensive and time consuming. Meanwhile, physicians have claimed more than 245,000 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) through their MOC involvement, and nearly 20,000 physicians have already met their MOC requirements through 2015,” the release stated.

Richard J. Baron, MD 

Richard J. Baron

The data released show that 77% of physicians with at least one time-limited certification earned after 1990 have enrolled in MOC.

Limited numbers were released for four specialties. Of those with time-limited certifications, the following are enrolled in MOC:

Physicians who have lifetime certifications and initially certified 25 or more years ago are not required to enroll, but the ABIM said these individuals are also enrolling in MOC. According to the release, 21% of these “grandfathers” are enrolled, up from 2% prior to the new program implementation, including the following specialties:

“Board certification is intended to serve both the public and our diplomates. Physicians rightly have expectations for a credential that recognizes their ongoing efforts to keep up in the specialty, but they also want it to be relevant and reflect what they do in practice,” Richard J. Baron, MD, ABIM president and CEO, said in the release. “We are listening to the feedback we have received from the community about changes to our program, but at the same time the public is seeking a way to know that their doctor is ‘keeping up in their field'. Maintaining one's certification is one means by which that need can be fulfilled,” Baron added.