Summary Report: Fall 2019 Pulmonary Disease Board Meeting

Summary Report: Fall 2019 Pulmonary Disease Board Meeting

Meeting Highlights

Serpil C. Erzurum, MD | Chair, Pulmonary Disease Board

During our fall meeting, ABIM’s announcement regarding the development of a longitudinal assessment option for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) was a primary focus. We also touched on a number of other key issues for ABIM and the pulmonary community, and received important updates from ABIM leadership. The following is a report on the highlights of our meeting.

New Members of the Specialty Board

We were pleased to welcome three new members to their first Pulmonary Disease Board meeting: 

  • Susan Murin, MD, is Vice-Chair of Internal Medicine, Interim Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Co-Director of Ambulatory Operations at UC Davis Health System.
  • Kevin M. O’Neil, MD, is in private practice and a partner at Wilmington Health, a multispecialty group in Wilmington, NC.
  • Carol K. Yochum, is a lung transplant recipient and pulmonary rehabilitation patient. She is also a former management and financial analyst.

Learn more about each of these members by visiting the Pulmonary Disease Board webpage.

About the Longitudinal Assessment Option

Richard J. Baron, MD, ABIM President and CEO, addressed the Specialty Board and provided an update on the announcement of the longitudinal assessment option, and reactions of society partners and diplomates. He also described ongoing planning activities related to the development of the new pathway and efforts to gain input from the many stakeholders in the physician community.

Additional information on the development of the longitudinal assessment option and a timeline for its development will be provided at a later date. You are invited to share comments and suggestions here.

Following Dr. Baron’s update and presentations from other ABIM staff on the longitudinal assessment option, the Pulmonary Disease Board shared their thoughts on the new pathway, and how it would work for pulmonologists.

  • The Specialty Board urged ABIM to implement the pathway with as much advance testing and communication as possible, given how MOC has evolved in recent years.
  • Members considered the differences between answering questions for the sake of learning versus assessment, and how that might inform the way diplomates approach the new pathway.

ABIM Proposal to Co-sponsor Neurocritical Care Certificate

The group heard an update on the proposal for ABIM to co-sponsor the Neurocritical Care certificate being offered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. During its October meeting, the ABIM Board of Directors voted in favor of ABIM applying to the American Board of Medical Specialties’ Committee on Certification (COCERT) to become a co-sponsor. COCERT will review the proposal and we anticipate having an update on its decision by fall 2020.

The ABIM Pulmonary Board and Critical Care Medicine (CCM) Board have discussed this idea at length over the course of the fall 2018 and spring 2019 meetings. The Pulmonary Board provided guidance to the CCM Board which undertook an extensive vetting of the critical care community before the CCM Board recommended to the ABIM Council and Board of Directors that ABIM pursue co-sponsorship of the Neurocritical Care Examination. 

Pre-Fellowship Procedures

The Pulmonary Disease Board discussed procedural competencies internal medicine residents should have an opportunity to perform before they transition successfully to a pulmonary disease fellowship, i.e. pre-fellowship procedures. The concept of “pre-fellowship procedures” came out of the Internal Medicine Board’s decision that all residents must do some procedures, but not all residents must learn the same procedures and Program Directors must make opportunities available to become competent in practice-specific procedures needed for their next level of training.

Exam Committee Update

As part of ABIM’s organization-wide effort to enhance the connection between Exam Committees and their corresponding Specialty Boards, the Pulmonary Disease Exam Committee Chair, Peter H. S. Sporn, MD briefed the group on how the Exam Committee work is evolving to meet the demand for more questions for ABIM assessments while maintaining the same quality and rigor. This entails collaborating with ABIM Item-Writing Task Forces whose work contributes to developing content by utilizing an innovative, model-based approach. The Task Forces’ question development techniques involve establishing a set of specifications for creating exam questions for a given content area. These specifications are then used to produce many high-quality questions in a given subject area.

Diplomate Professional Profiles

The Diplomate Professional Profile is currently being updated to include specialty-specific questions.  Once it is finalized, diplomates will be asked to complete a periodic survey about the characteristics of their professional activity so that ABIM can assure relevancy of our programs and assessments based on what physicians see in practice. Members reviewed the questions that all diplomates answer on the survey, regardless of specialty. In addition, they reviewed and offered refinements to the pulmonary-specific questions that all diplomates maintaining certification in pulmonary disease will be asked.

In Closing

The Pulmonary Disease Board welcomes feedback and commentary from diplomates, society partners and the greater medical community. We hope you find this report to be valuable and informative.

Do you have any questions? Are you interested in how to get involved?

If you have questions after reading this report, please connect with us through the following channels:

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