MOC-IconJoint Society Letter to ABIM Expresses Frustration

As part of our ongoing commitment to improve the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process for practicing GI clinicians, the College yesterday signed on to a joint communication to ABIM along with the GI societies and nine other specialty groups requesting a better understanding of ABIM’s plan for re-engineering MOC to reflect the changing nature of medical practice.

ABIM in recent months has moved to make improvements to MOC, including allowing CME to count toward MOC knowledge credits and suspension of the practice assessment, patient voice, and patient safety requirements through December 31, 2018.  Now on March 23, 2016, ABIM announced that it is pilot testing open-book assessments for the internal medicine MOC recertification exam.

While these actions by ABIM have not entirely fixed the problems with MOC that have been the source of such frustration and dissatisfaction for ACG members, we believe the College’s efforts to date to improve the situation are starting to bear fruit.

ACG’s participation in this joint letter is just the latest in an ongoing push by the College to fix a badly broken system.  The most recent announcement by ABIM of piloting an open-book assessment is a good first step, but there is still a long way to go to explore alternate mechanisms for assessing the continuing competence of gastroenterologists.

In all that we have done so far, ACG has sought to improve usability and relevance of MOC programs.  We continue to pressure ABIM to re-make the MOC system in fundamental ways so that it is less costly and less burdensome for GI clinicians.

ACG is committed to advocating for replacing the 10-year MOC exam with more meaningful, less burdensome assessments, and will continue to place pressure on ABIM along with the other members of the internal medicine community to make this a reality.

ACG will join several of the other societies in the Liaison Committee for Certification and Recertification meeting at ABIM on Friday, April 8, 2016.

ACG’s Principles: MOC needs to be simpler, less intrusive and less expensive

  • We support ending the high-stakes, every 10-year exam

  • We do not support closed book assessments as they do not represent the current realities of medicine in the digital age

  • We support the principles of lifelong learning as evidenced by ongoing CME activities, rather than lifelong testing

  • We support the concept that, for the many diplomates who specialize within certain areas of gastroenterology and hepatology, MOC should not need to include high-stakes assessments of areas in which the diplomate may not practice


Read the Joint Society Letter to ABIM of April 4, 2016

Dr. Carol Burke recently represented ACG at meeting at ABIM in early March.  Read her reflections