By Zoe Muller, MD
Dr. Zoe Muller is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease. She worked for several years as an assistant professor in infectious diseases at the University of Florida before joining the Cascade Infectious Diseases and Infusion team in Salem, Oregon. She is participating in the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA®) in internal medicine.
So far, I am finding the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA®) a positive experience—more so than studying for the Traditional, 10-Year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam for internal medicine. My primary focus is infectious disease, so I haven’t concentrated solely on internal medicine for at least 10 years. I try to keep up and there is some overlap, but it’s easy to forget the finer details, and the thought of having to go back and study everything all at once is not appealing. I like the flexibility of the LKA, of being able to learn consistently but at my own pace. To me, it’s less stressful and less time-consuming.
I find thirty questions over three months reasonable, and the questions overall are fair. I can budget my time and plan as to when I will start tackling them. Four minutes is typically enough time to look up information I may need, although certain questions of course I still get stuck on. You do you have an option to add extra time from a thirty-minute time bank if needed.
When doing the questions, I’ll go into my office, close the door, turn off my phone, flip through some board review notes and then do 10-15 questions from an external Q-bank to warm up before tackling the LKA.
Even though I primarily work in infectious disease, there is crossover with internal medicine and so the LKA has helped me in my current practice, especially when I get an answer wrong. It gives me time to review the rationale and do some extra reading right then and there.
Since starting the LKA in 2022, I just received my first quarterly formative score report that shows how I’m doing so far. I like the way it highlights where I stand in relation to a current minimum score needed to pass at the end of the five years, and where I am in relation to my peers.
I would say to anyone considering the LKA, it’s worth at least trying. If you’re not sure whether it will work for you, you’re not committed: you can enroll and switch to the traditional, 10-year MOC exam if you decide the LKA isn’t right for you. When I signed up, I figured I’d see what it was all about and how it went, and so far it’s been working for me.
Enrollment in the 2023 LKA for diplomates with an assessment due in 2023 is open until June 30. Learn more at www.abim.org/LKA.