Jump to Main Content


ASH Applauds ABIM Announcement on Maintenance of Certification Reform

(WASHINGTON, August 21, 2019) — Today, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced a significant change to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) standards. ABIM currently requires hematologists to periodically take lengthy comprehensive examinations to maintain certification, despite a lack of evidence showing that the exams meaningfully change practice and, in turn, benefit patients. ABIM has announced that it will provide diplomates with a new “self-paced pathway for physicians to acquire and demonstrate ongoing knowledge” in place of the high-stakes examination every 10 years and the two-year Knowledge Check-In. While ABIM will continue to offer the 10-year examination to all diplomates, physicians will have the option of choosing self-paced methods of assessment that are relevant to their practice and offer immediate feedback.

2019 ASH President Roy Silverstein, MD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin issued the following comment:

“ASH applauds ABIM’s recognition that MOC can take many forms. This new direction for MOC is a welcome change because it will better align with the needs of hematologists. For many years, the Society has advocated for assessment options that enhance medical knowledge through ongoing feedback outside of examination settings. We are thrilled to see this long-overdue reform being made.

This change was recommended earlier this year by an independent ‘Vision Commission’ appointed by the American Board of Medical Specialties to improve MOC. These new assessments are expected to offer more interactive, less time-bound methods of assessment that allow physicians to continuously assess their knowledge, fill knowledge gaps, and demonstrate proficiency. Some examples of this type of assessment include article-based self-assessments or quarterly online question-and-answer sessions.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with ABIM to ensure the new assessment options recognize the diversity of career paths in hematology. The Society also looks forward to developing additional educational resources to meet the needs of our members in support of continued learning and certification.”

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online. In 2016, ASH launched Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org), an online, peer-reviewed open-access journal. 

Leah Enser, American Society of Hematology
[email protected]; 202-552-4927