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The LKA is a stress-free way to keep my medical knowledge current

February 8, 2024  |  Posted by admin  |  LKA

By Maliha Jumani

Maliha Jumani, MD, ECNU, is an endocrinologist at Piedmont Healthcare in Columbus, Georgia. She is certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Dr. Jumani is meeting her Maintenance of Certification (MOC) assessment requirement in internal medicine through the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA®), and will likely do the same with her Endocrinology certification when she is due for her next assessment.

When it was time for me to take an assessment for internal medicine, I saw that people were tending to go the route of the LKA, including one of my colleagues, and I decided to try it. It seemed to be less stressful than cramming for an exam, and 30 questions quarterly is very reasonable.

Also, there aren’t any testing centers near me and when I had taken the exam for my endocrinology certification, I had to take a day off from work, drive to another city and spend the night. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be late the next day so I stayed near the test center. It was very inconvenient.

I like that with the LKA you get to pace yourself and can use resources available to you. I have a full-time job and with trying to manage my family and kids, flexibility is something I need.

It has worked out well for me. Sometimes I do 10 questions every month; other times I tend to do more toward the end of the quarter, but it’s never been that difficult to get done. Even if I do a few questions a week, five or so, it’s not burdensome. I have kids who are 9 and 5 so there are a lot of different after-school activities, but I think the LKA is manageable.

The four minutes allotted per question is appropriate. There is enough time to read the question, use online resources pertaining to the topic and apply the knowledge in a particular clinical scenario. That’s the art of medicine—putting the knowledge you have into practice. Memorizing facts, as one tends to do for conventional exams, is of no use unless you can apply them clinically.

I think the LKA also gets you out of yourself a little. I don’t practice internal medicine but it is helping to keep some of the topics fresh in my mind. When I get a question wrong, I read up on it and learn more about it.

I recently came across a question pertaining to endocrinology, which is my area of specialty, and was surprised that my answer was different than what was correct on the LKA. I would have done it differently in my practice, but when I looked at the whole clinical scenario in reviewing the question, it made sense. I would say it made me more conscious about how I am dosing levothyroxine in my elderly patients and how quickly I titrate levothyroxine dose in general. So, it’s interesting that even doing the internal medicine LKA, I am able to keep my endocrinology knowledge fresh.

I would absolutely recommend the LKA to others because of the convenience and the immediate feedback. With the 10-year MOC exam, we don’t know what individual questions we get wrong or why. With this system of testing, I know immediately what the correct answer is and I can read up on it.

It’s far less stressful than cramming for a test, just to get facts memorized. I think it’s a healthier way of learning because you are learning on a consistent basis and are able to make changes to your clinical practice.

The first quarter of the 2024 LKA closes 3/31/24, and the final day to enroll this year is 6/30/24. Sign into your ABIM Physician Portal to enroll.