Internal medicine organizations agree on principles of recertification program

November 01, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -Nov. 1, 2002. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) announced agreement on principles to guide development of the recertification program for board-certified internal medicine physicians.

The agreement between the two organizations delineates their roles in the internal medicine recertification process, a program of continuous professional development (CPD). The agreement was approved by the ABIM Board of Directors on Oct. 8, 2002, and by the ACP-ASIM Board of Regents on Oct. 27, 2002.

The two organizations agreed to establish a liaison committee, composed of representatives of ABIM, ACP-ASIM, and internal medicine subspecialty organizations, that will advise ABIM's Committee on Recertification on recommendations and proposals for new components and potential new pathways for recertification. The liaison committee is charged with preserving the separation of education and evaluation responsibilities between the two organizations.

The agreement stipulates greater flexibility for diplomates by phasing in new components of the program, accepting some of ACP-ASIM's existing Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program questions as part of the CPD program, and developing a computer-based examination so candidates will not have to travel to distant centers for the examination.

"Reaching agreement on a process to enhance recertification is a great advance for our organizations and for the profession," said Douglas P. Zipes, MD, chair of the ABIM Board of Directors.

"ACP-ASIM and ABIM share the goal of fostering the highest standards of excellence and professionalism in the practice of internal medicine," said Sara E. Walker, MD, president of ACP-ASIM. "We are pleased to work with ABIM to help make the recertification process relevant and efficient for internists."

"The agreement reinforces our commitment to lifelong learning and the commitment of our organizations to work together to foster excellence in the practice of medicine for our patients and for the profession," said Bernard M. Rosof, MD, co-chair of the joint ABIM/ACP-ASIM committee that discussed recertification issues. Dr. Rosof is also immediate past chair of the ACP-ASIM Board of Regents.

"Patients will be well-served by this agreement," said Harry R. Kimball, MD ABIM president. "A well-coordinated process for on-going professional education and evaluation is good for the profession and good for our patients."

ABIM is a non-profit organization, headquartered in Philadelphia, that establishes requirements for board certification and recertification of doctors of internal medicine. Doctors who pass the ABIM-administered certification and recertification examinations are considered "board-certified" internists.

ACP-ASIM, also headquartered in Philadelphia, is the nation's largest medical specialty society with a membership of 90,000 internists and internal medicine subspecialists. ACP-ASIM provides education, including self-assessment courses and more than 50 postgraduate courses annually, develops clinical practice guidelines, advocates for medical students and member physicians, and publishes Annals of Internal Medicine and other medical journals.

American College of Physicians

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