We have previously written about the way the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is seeking physician input on Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessments. recently, ABIM announced the findings from that recent survey. All ABIM Board Certified physicians were invited to participate in the survey, and over 9,200 responded, a 4.7% response rate.
ABIM presented the results from the survey ("Improving the MOC Assessment Experience") at a recent ABIM meeting, in front of more than seventy leaders of medical societies. Following the presentation, the ABIM Board of Directors and Council continued discussions, considering physician-guided recommendations about options for updating the MOC assessment process. Through those discussions, ABIM will also create a timetable to seek feedback from physicians, launch a pilot, evaluate the pilot, and eventually implement changes.
ABIM made inferences about the full population of ABIM Board Certified physicians from a representative sample of 1,225 physicians. The random representative sample had a 29.4% response rate; and, in an attempt to correct non-response bias, ABIM "weighted sample responses and performed multiple imputations."
Key Survey Findings from the Representative Sample
Of the representative sample, 86% responded positively to the idea of taking an assessment at home or in their office, instead of the typical testing center, and were comfortable with potential tasks necessary to facilitate secure, remote assessment. 79% of the representative sample liked the idea of taking shorter knowledge assessments, skipping the full-length MOC exam. 76% responded positively to the idea of using online resources during an assessment, and another 76% responded that they would like maintaining their board certification to signify that they are staying current in the knowledge they need to practice. 56% of respondents positively responded to the idea of shorter, more frequent knowledge assessments, though opinions regarding the preferred length and frequency of assessments varied widely.
The survey also highlighted the fact that many physicians are dissatisfied with the current MOC program (69.6%), but 38.5% are satisfied with ABIM's recent efforts to address those needs and concerns of the internal medicine community.
According to Richard J. Baron, M.D., President and CEO of ABIM,
In our efforts to deliver a meaningful, performance-based credential that signifies something important about physicians, the survey results provide invaluable guidance as to what physicians favor in the assessment process. These insights will empower our decision making for the future by giving us direct insight into what physicians value as future components of our evolving MOC assessment.
Richard G. Battaglia, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of ABIM, believes that the
opinions from physicians gleaned through the survey will be used to frame future discussions and refine details about potential assessment ideas. Results indicate that physicians are interested in exploring all of the ideas presented in the survey. ABIM will continue to engage physicians and societies to explore assessment models that are reflective of practice today.
As mentioned by both Dr. Baron and Dr. Battaglia, ABIM will continue to analyze the surveys and continue to solicit feedback from the community on different aspects of MOC assessment models. Dr. Baron stated that ABIM will evaluate the results from a research study, for which hundreds of physicians have already signed up, to understand how an "open book" portion of MOC would impact both the assessment experience, and performance.
Prior to launching any future pilots, ABIM plans to ask for feedback from the community on more detailed aspects of the piloted MOC assessment models. The current assessment will remain in place as the community continues to explore alternatives.