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Summary Report: Fall 2019 Rheumatology Board Meeting

October 1, 2019  |  Posted by ABIM  |  ABIM Governance, Assessments for MOC, MOC, News

Marcy B. Bolster, MD | Chair, Rheumatology Board

The fall meeting of the Rheumatology Board was an eventful one in light of ABIM’s recent announcement to pursue the development of a longitudinal assessment pathway for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). The board used this opportunity to explore how this development may affect rheumatologists and what role the board can play moving forward.

At this meeting, guests from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) shared an update on matters of mutual concern and interest. The cooperation and interaction with ACR and other societies has been a key factor in moving forward with a longitudinal option and finding common ground that benefits us all.

Below is a recap of the key topics discussed during the meeting:

About the Longitudinal Assessment

Richard Baron, MD, ABIM President and CEO, addressed the Rheumatology 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.

Following Dr. Baron’s update and various staff presentations on the proposed longitudinal assessment option, Rheumatology Board members reacted positively to the direction, and sought more details about how the pathway may be structured. The response from ACR was positive and reflected efforts of ABIM and ACR to find more common ground.

  • Details on the development of the longitudinal assessment option and a timeline for its development will be disseminated at a later date.
  • ABIM wants to hear from diplomates, rheumatology practitioners and society partners to help inform the direction of this assessment option. You can share your comments here.

ACR Update

ACR guests provided an update on the organization’s activities, especially as they relate to the opportunity to work together with ABIM in the future. ACR guests at the meeting included:

  • Carol Langford, MD, Board of Directors
  • Steven Echard, Executive Vice President
  • Donna Hoyne, Vice President, Education

ACR representatives shared initial impressions of the longitudinal assessment pathway as addressing some longstanding member concerns with MOC. The Rheumatology Board plans to continue the dialogue on longitudinal assessment with ACR.

Procedural Competencies

  • Building on previous Rheumatology Board meetings, there was continued discussion regarding the procedural competencies internal medicine residents should be expected to have to transition successfully to rheumatology fellowship, i.e. pre-fellowship procedures.
  • The concept of “pre-fellowship procedures” arose out of the Internal Medicine Board’s decision not to use a common set of procedural competencies across all graduating internal medicine residents.
  • The requirement states that all residents must do some procedures and Program Directors must make available procedural training opportunities that will allow residents to become competent in practice-specific procedures needed for their next level of training.

Spring 2019 Knowledge Check-In (KCI) Administration

The Rheumatology Board discussed feedback about the spring 2019 (No-Consequence) Rheumatology KCI administration. They reviewed how many took the Spring KCI and what percent of them took it remotely vs. at a test center. It was reported that it was evenly divided between the test centers and remote locations. The Rheumatology Board also discussed user feedback about fairness and relevance, and how useful UpToDate was as a resource. Feedback on the fall administration will be available at a later date.

Diplomate Professional Profiles

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

In Closing

The Specialty 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: