In residency, there’s a big push to take and pass your boards. But, beyond the push that you receive from your program, I felt an intrinsic motivation to take that extra step so I could say I was “board certified” and demonstrate my knowledge to my patients and peers.
Though I had been studying for weeks, after I took the exam, I still worried. I remember thinking, “Am I going to pass? Did I study enough?”
I was in a meeting at Christiana Hospital when I received an email from ABIM telling me to check their website to view my results, and as soon as the meeting was over, I checked and saw that I had passed! I was relieved and very proud to finally be a board certified physician. I called my family and friends who had also taken the boards to share the news.
To me, being ABIM Board Certified is a standard I set for myself to do the best that I can, not just from a personal and professional standpoint but for the benefit of my patients. My board certification is a sort of a check and balance system: in becoming certified and in maintaining that certification, I’m able to stay up to date with the newest treatments available to care for my patients.
I’m a little further away from my primary internal medicine training now, so I find that Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is another way I can stay in touch with practice guidelines that may have changed. MOC helps ensure that my knowledge is where it should be.