ABIM’s Design Principles

We have been seeking ways to improve and support change, and I’m happy to say that a recent result was developing and implementing a set of design principles to guide decision-making at ABIM.

The design principles are grounded in values we’ve gathered from the internal medicine community, and allow for members of the ABIM Board and Council to answer a key question as we move forward with future changes: “Did we get this right?” The principles are organized as short, aspirational and informative guidelines that give ABIM a framework for staying aligned with community values – which include important tenets, such as transparency, involving stakeholders, public interest and fidelity to the internal medicine community’s shared purpose.

I look forward to updating you about further progress as we continue to review, consider and incorporate your feedback and re-examine the MOC program in partnership with the community.


ABIM’s Design Principles:

  • Shared purpose and impact first. Does the solution align with and advance the internal medicine community’s shared purpose and will it have the desired impact on the community?
  • Patients are the North Star. How does the solution align with the public interest? How is it good for patients?
  • Simplicity and relevancy. Are the solutions easy to understand and applicable to many in the community? Are they relevant? Are they attentive to the burden on and benefit to physicians?
  • Think internal and external. Have both internal and external stakeholders contributed to the solution? Has the impact of the solutions on ABIM and the community been considered?
  • Always include the WHY, the HOW, and the WHO. Will the community understand ABIM’s decision and how it was reached?
  • Balance community-centered design with ABIM’s expertise and research. Have the expert decision makers given appropriate consideration to the possible solutions that emerged from the community?
  • Participation, not just communication. Did ABIM develop solutions with the community and not for them? Will they believe that they had a role in developing the solution?
  • Transparent decisions. Can ABIM easily explain why a particular decision was made and why another possible solution was rejected?