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Summary Report: Fall 2019 Gastroenterology Board Meeting

October 15, 2019  |  Posted by ABIM  |  ABIM Governance, MOC, News

Jane E. Onken, MD | Chair, Gastroenterology Board

At our fall meeting, the announcement by ABIM regarding the development of a longitudinal assessment option for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) was a significant focus of our discussions. We touched on a number of key issues for ABIM and the gastroenterology community, and received important updates from ABIM leadership. The following is a report on the highlights of our meeting.

About the Longitudinal Assessment

Richard Baron, MD, ABIM President and CEO, addressed the Gastroenterology Board and provided an update on the announcement of the longitudinal assessment pathway, and reactions of society partners and diplomates. He also described ongoing planning activities related to the development of the new pathway and efforts to gain input from the boards, our society partners and ABIM diplomates. You can share your comments here, and additional information on the development of the longitudinal assessment option and a timeline for its development will be provided at a later date.

Following Dr. Baron’s update and presentations from other ABIM staff on the proposed longitudinal assessment option, the Gastroenterology Board shared their thoughts and discussed how it would apply to gastroenterologists.

  • The Gastroenterology Board voiced its support for ABIM’s mission to create a meaningful credential and the need for summative standards. They felt it was important to increase awareness and understanding among patients and physicians about the value of Board Certification.
  • Gastroenterology Board members generally viewed the longitudinal direction as positive and saw it as ‘something truly different’ for practicing physicians.
  • Members characterized the response of the gastroenterology community as supportive of the principles of lifelong learning and interested in how the development of an alternative pathway will proceed.

Working with the GI Societies

The Gastroenterology Board discussed its plans to continue collaborating with the four GI societies — the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). Conversations with the societies on the exploration of an alternative MOC pathway for GI began last fall. Discussion also touched on the GI society Member Alert, which was shared with society members on July 31 and provided an update on the ongoing collaboration on an MOC pathway for gastroenterologists. The Gastroenterology Board believes that there continues to be opportunity for collaboration on the enhanced educational features developed in the ABIM longitudinal assessment pathway.

ABMS approves GI-Transplant Hepatology Combined Training Pathway

In fall 2018 Gastroenterology Board members reviewed results from the long-standing and very successful American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) – ABIM Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) pilot program in Gastroenterology (GI) and Transplant Hepatology (TH) and approved the combined GI/TH training pathway at the spring 2019 meeting. The ABIM Council then approved the combined training pathway at its June 2019 meeting after which the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Review Committee for Internal Medicine (RC-IM) were informed. Members learned at the fall 2019 meeting that the ABMS Committee on Certification (COCERT) has recently approved the combined training pathway as an additional training paradigm to achieve ABIM certification in GI and TH.

Graduates of the combined training pathway are eligible to seek ABIM certification in both areas with one less year of total training than the standard four-year training pathway if training in both disciplines were pursued separately. The standard four-year pathway will remain in place as an option for fellows who desire having more in-depth training in general gastroenterology, or who intend to pursue research careers. Formal communications about the GI/TH pathway will be sent this fall to partner medical societies, program directors, and fellows with details about the new pathway. More information can be found at the following link for Dual Certification Requirements – Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology.

Diplomate Professional Profiles

The Diplomate Professional Profile is currently being updated to include specialty-specific questions.  Once it is finalized, diplomates will be asked to complete a periodic survey about the characteristics of their professional activity so that ABIM can assure relevancy of our programs and assessments  based on what physicians see in practice. Members reviewed the questions that all diplomates answer on the survey, regardless of specialty. In addition, they reviewed and offered refinements to the gastroenterology-specific questions that all diplomates maintaining certification in gastroenterology will be asked.

Pre-Fellowship Procedures

The Gastroenterology Board held an in-depth discussion of procedural competencies internal medicine residents should be expected to have in order to transition successfully to a gastroenterology fellowship, i.e. pre-fellowship procedures. The concept of “pre-fellowship procedures” came out of the Internal Medicine Board’s decision  that all residents must do some procedures, but not all residents must learn the same procedures and Program Directors must make opportunities available to become competent in practice-specific procedures needed for their next level of training.

In Closing

The Gastroenterology Board welcomes feedback and commentary from diplomates, society partners and the greater medical community. We hope you find this report to be valuable and informative.

Do you have any questions? Are you interested in how to get involved?

If you have questions after reading this report, please connect with us through the following channels:

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