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Endocrine Society Meets with ABIM Leadership

July 18, 2014
Dear Endocrine Society members:
On July 15th, Society leadership participated in theInternal Medicine Summit hosted by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). This meeting was convened to address the numerous concerns raised by the Endocrine Society, the American College of Physicians, and the broader internal medicine subspecialty community regarding ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Twenty-five specialty organizations were present at the meeting, representing nearly all internal medicine subspecialties.
The Society took this opportunity to directly address the points outlined in our June 5th letter to the ABIM. We called for the ABIM to suspend its new MOC requirements until independent research on the impact of these changes is conducted. As we have heard from you, there are serious concerns about the possible unintended consequences of the recent changes, such as reduced access to care and stress on the endocrine workforce. We were not alone in expressing concerns that affect subspecialty physicians generically. There was unanimity on several points expressed by several subspecialties. These included the unreasonable financial burden on physicians, the limited utility of the secure exam, the desire for a broader scope of professional activities to be recognized within the MOC system, and the inadequacies of the ABIM website. The most consistent and strongly voiced concern was the pejorative tone to communications used regarding MOC status, namely the statement "Not meeting MOC requiremements" with respect to those holding time limited certificates.
We and several subspecialties also requested changes to better facilitate timely approval of MOC products developed by specialty organizations. One change to streamline the approval process would be for the ABIM to allow organizations to award MOC part 2 and part 4 credit instead of requiring each product to be individually approved by the ABIM. Organizations could be granted this privilege based on their ACCME accreditation status and history of developing MOC products.

Our collective concerns and calls for action will be addressed at ABIM's upcoming Council meeting in early August. The Society and other attending subspecialty groups urged timely communication from ABIM regarding the outcome of those discussions and we will keep you apprised of all updates. Furthermore, the Society stressed the need for ABIM to be accountable to the profession and transparent and collaborative in outreach to societies as partners in considering changes to the MOC program and development of new initiatives as they arise.
The Endocrine Society will continue to push for change and work with the ABIM and our subspecialty colleagues to improve the MOC system. This week's meeting was an important opportunity for dialogue between the key leadership of the ABIM, the Society, and other subspecialty groups.
As professionals that support the concepts of continuous learning, improvement, and self-regulation, we are hopeful that this type of interaction will be a first step to ultimately strengthen the board certification system. To that end, we will continue to advocate on your behalf to ensure that MOC is clinically relevant, appropriately rigorous, and uniquely necessary.

Richard J. Santen, MD

Richard J. Santen, MD
Endocrine Society Council
Barbara Byrd Keenan