Collaborating with Physicians to Update the Internal Medicine MOC Exam Blueprint

As part of ABIM’s ongoing collaboration with the physician community to ensure the Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Exam reflects what internists in practice today are doing, ABIM has been working with practicing internists to update the Internal Medicine MOC Exam ‘blueprint,’ the table of specifications outlining the content areas and their approximate percentages on a typical exam. The result is an updated blueprint that not only reflects input from practicing general internists, but also provides a greater level of detail to help physicians with exam preparation. The updated blueprint is now available on and will be implemented starting with the Fall 2015 Internal Medicine MOC Exam.

The process for updating the exam blueprint was led by ABIM’s Internal Medicine Board and Exam Committee, composed of internists with clinical expertise, who worked with a representative sample of practicing general internists to rate blueprint topics and related tasks for relative frequency and importance in practice. These ratings, along with patient visit data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Discharge Survey, informed adjustments to the distribution of medical content areas on the blueprint. Additionally, the relevance ratings will inform the composition of the MOC examination, ensuring a relevant examination for the general internist who has been in practice.

Developed with physician input, the updated blueprint provides a greater level of detail than prior blueprints, including a task breakdown in addition to topics covered. It is also color-coded to indicate how specific combinations of topics and tasks have been prioritized, in partnership with the medical community, for selecting exam questions.

ABIM blueprint exampleBlueprint review is part of ABIM’s ongoing work with the internal medicine community to continually update all MOC exams to ensure their continued relevance to physicians in practice. ABIM is implementing a process that will give all ABIM Board Certified physicians the opportunity to participate in annual blueprint review. This process will be introduced for some specialties by the end of 2015, and will be rolled out across all ABIM specialties over the next one to two years.

ABIM believes it is critical that updates to programs and products – including exams – are informed by feedback from physicians across the diversity of internal medicine practice. We’re committed to partnering with the internal medicine community to do this work and would like you to join us. Richard J. Baron, MD, ABIM’s CEO, continues to welcome your thoughts and ideas at You can subscribe to the Transforming ABIM blog to receive updates on what we’re hearing and other ways you can get involved.