ABIM will retire the Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (FPHM) program at the end of 2023 and launch new inpatient-focused versions of the Internal Medicine Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA®) and traditional,10-year Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam in January 2024.
This decision was made after a peer-reviewed publication highlighted certain trends in the Internal medicine workforce, an analysis of those participating in the underutilized FPHM program*, and a survey of hospitalist diplomates who hold and do not hold the FPHM designation about their needs. It was made in close consultation with the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), which collaborated on the survey, in addition to conversations with other society partners who attended ABIM Specialty Board meetings last fall. The new assessment options will provide additional flexibility for hospitalists and subspecialists working in an inpatient setting.
“SHM has long advocated that hospitalists deserve an exam option closely aligned to their day-to-day hospital-based practice,said Eric Howell, MD, MHM, Chief Executive Officer of SHM. “We believe the process ABIM used to evaluate how to best serve hospitalists was rigorous, and this decision reflects the preferences of a majority of members. SHM hopes the new inpatient assessment options will make it easier for hospitalists to choose a recertification pathway that resembles practice.”
Those currently maintaining their Internal Medicine certification through the FPHM program will continue to be publicly reported as being certified in Internal Medicine with a Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine through 12/1/2023, as long as their other MOC program requirements are up to date. After that, they will no longer be reported as having a Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine.
Enrollment for all 2024 ABIM exams opens 12/1/2023. Any diplomate with an Internal Medicine or Hospital Medicine assessment due next year, including those currently in the FPHM program, will be able to enroll in either of the new inpatient Internal Medicine MOC exam options or the Internal Medicine MOC exam or LKA to meet their assessment requirement. The new assessments can also be used by physicians who would like to become recertified in Internal Medicine.
Those who choose one of the new inpatient MOC assessments will be certified in Internal Medicine, and will be assessed primarily on topics seen in an inpatient setting. It may be a good option for those currently enrolled in the FPHM program, hospitalists who are looking for a more focused assessment and internists and internal medicine subspecialists who work in an inpatient setting.
More information, including a set of FAQs, can be found on ABIM’s website. ABIM will contact all diplomates in the FPHM program who have an assessment due in 2024 in early fall with more information to ensure a seamless transition to one of the new or existing assessment options.
*Gray BM, Vandergrift JL, Stevens JP, Landon BE. Evolving practice choices by newly certified and more senior General Internists: A cross-sectional and panel comparison. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2022; 175(7):1022-1027