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American Board of Medical Specialties Announces New Standards for Continuing Certification
New requirements within the Standards call for more collaboration between Member Boards and Societies
November 2, 2021
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board of Directors approved new Standards for Continuing Certification at its October 29, 2021 meeting. The new Standards represent the culmination of three years of consultation with physicians, medical and specialty societies, consumers, and other public stakeholders from across the health care spectrum to reconceive the way specialty physician recertification is conducted.
“The evolution of the new ABMS standards for continuing certification was an iterative, transparent, and inclusive editing approach. The Standards Task Force balanced the needs of the public and the profession in the new standards to support diplomate learning and improvement as well as to establish a meaningful credential for users of the certificate,” said Susan Ramin, MD, Chair of the ABMS Standards Task Force. Dr. Ramin is the Associate Executive Director for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG).
The new Standards provide Member Boards the flexibility to address specialty-specific requirements, and many boards have already incorporated programmatic changes that are aligned with the new standards. ABOG already meets many of the requirements outlined in the new Standards. ABOG’s continuing certification program has been operating on an annual basis for 24 years, with diplomates completing tasks each year to maintain their certification. Additionally, a new ABMS Standard emphasizes offering practice-specific content relevant to diplomates. ABOG’s long-established Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment component of continuing certification already meets this requirement.
“ABOG and ACOG have been collaborative leaders for more than two decades among specialty boards and societies in supporting continuing certification. ABOG has already incorporated practice-specific content and includes rapidly emerging hot topics, such as COVID-19, into our programs. The new Standards, with consultation from physicians, patients, societies, and broad stakeholders, provide a thoughtful roadmap for moving forward. We welcome the opportunity to continue to innovate and improve the continuing certification process, bringing quality and value to our Diplomates, our specialty, and the patients we serve,” said Andrew J. Satin, MD, President of ABOG’s Board of Directors.
Additional requirements outlined in the new ABMS Standards that Member Boards are not yet meeting, including ABOG, will be thoughtfully phased in over the coming years to allow sufficient time to communicate them to diplomates and allow for streamlined and effective transitions as needed. One example includes working more closely with specialty societies, in part to allow diplomates “engaged in the organizations’ quality improvement activities to seamlessly receive credit from the Member Boards.”
“It is essential for standards and practice to evolve to support advancements in medicine, science and technology and address changes in the healthcare delivery process. The well-established partnership between ACOG and ABOG will allow us to appropriately address the new ABMS Standards, particularly in the area of quality improvement. Together with medical boards and societies across the country, we strive to enhance resources for our members, improve the health of communities across the nation, and enhance the quality of care each patient receives,” said Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, FACOG, Chief Executive Officer of ACOG.
ABOG has posted FAQs about the new Standards on abog.org.
Established in 1933, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the leading not-for profit organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. ABMS supports 24 Member Boards that develop educational and professional standards and programs of assessment to certify physician specialists, all dedicated to improving the quality of care to the patients, families, and communities they serve.
The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) is an independent, nonprofit organization that certifies obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States. Founded in 1927, ABOG is one of 24 specialty Boards recognized by the ABMS. Based in Dallas, ABOG serves candidates and diplomates in the United States and Canada in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology, plus five subspecialties including Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Gynecologic Oncology, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, and Complex Family Planning. ABOG also offers a continuous certification (Maintenance of Certification) program. Visit abog.org to learn more.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of 60,000 members, ACOG strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. www.acog.org