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Community Exploration Day photo

Physicians Explore Assessments and Innovations at ABIM

June 29, 2016  |  Posted by Richard G. Battaglia, MD - Chief Medical Officer  |  Opportunities and Ideas for MOC, Physician Feedback


The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Community Engagement Team  has been out and about this spring facilitating individual and small group conversations with physicians about Maintenance of Certification (MOC) at medical society meetings and in clinical settings.

While working to design innovative ways to talk with the community for critical insights and feedback, our team invited community physicians to ABIM’s office in Philadelphia for our first Community Exploration Day.

Last month, we hosted more than a dozen physicians from a variety of backgrounds, locations and specialties to consider assessment components, online experience and future innovations with their physician peers and ABIM staff. The day also included time for open discussion and space for attendees to envision what they would do if they were developing future ABIM programs. Topics we covered included how to engage more physicians, plans for the MOC program, financial information and other salient issues.

Community Exploration Day photo

We encouraged participants to also record and share their thoughts via word clouds and Post-It ideation clusters throughout the day.

Drs. Battaglia and Baron at Community Exploration Day

Dr. Richard Baron and I addressed questions and concerns, and we spoke with attendees about ABIM’s path forward.

We had an honest and productive debate about the MOC exam. Many points were raised by attendees:

  • “I thought this was a good opportunity to come by to see if we can brainstorm and come up with some collective ideas to steward the future,” said Michael Newcomb, MD, about why he decided to attend.
  • “I really want to see what innovation means for ABIM,” Ismail Nabeel, MD, asked. “Things are changing rapidly on many levels—in practice, knowledge and the collection of data. How does ABIM want to innovate? How do you perceive this testing method will evolve?”
  • “You can feel the sense of anxiety and tensions in all physicians when you attend a board review course,” Marguerite Saith, MD, said about preparing for the 10-year MOC exam. She suggested that to reduce stress, MOC can be presented as a way to celebrate an achievement or a milestone in a physicians’ career.
  • “In the past, we used to use memorization or a need-to-know method,” said Parag Mehta, MD. “Now I am in my EHR and when I need something, UpToDate is right there, a click away. What you are testing in the exam, we are not practicing. To make patients safer, we have to look at where we are making mistakes.”

Listening to conversations throughout the day, it was wonderful to observe that the participants were comfortable sharing their personal experiences and ideas.

We are grateful that the physicians who participated shared their valuable time and input with us and are excited to learn their perspectives. We plan to host additional Exploration Days.

I welcome you to continue to email Dr. Baron and me with your feedback. If you would like to be a participant in a future Exploration Day, please email


This post was updated 7/5/16 to include additional feedback.