ASCO and ABIM Announce Collaboration on Maintenance of Certification Pathway


ASCO and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) have announced that they are working to co-create a pathway to provide doctors with a flexible way to maintain board certification.

Beginning in 2020, oncologists will be able to choose from two different assessment pathways. They may take an ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam every 10 years. Alternatively, they may take a shorter assessment every 2 years that will be jointly developed by ABIM and ASCO, reflecting the specialization and expertise of oncologists. The shorter assessment pathway will take the place of ABIM's 2-year Knowledge Check-In in Medical Oncology that had been planned for 2020.

Oncologists will not need to have an ASCO membership to take the shorter assessment pathway.

A Co-created Assessment

For the past 2 years, ABIM has had an open dialogue with thousands of physicians and several medical societies, including ASCO, about ways to enhance the MOC program. Based on these conversations, the performance standards-driven process doctors complete to maintain ABIM board certification is continuing to evolve to be more reflective of how they practice medicine today.

“The new assessment pathway is the result of more than 2 years of input and feedback from ASCO members, as well as our desire to collaborate with ABIM because of their recognized expertise in assessment. Our dual goals for reshaping the recertification process are to ensure that assessment better reflects the realities of cancer care and recognizes oncologists for their knowledge gained through educational and quality improvement activities,” said ASCO's Chief Executive Officer Clifford Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO.

The new pathway that ABIM and ASCO will develop together represents the latest innovation in the MOC program, which recognizes doctors for demonstrating current medical knowledge through periodic assessments and continuous learning activities over the course of their careers. ABIM will continue to use its expertise to set performance standards, issue certifications, and administer the assessment process. ASCO will bring its expertise in the field of oncology to the assessment process as well as educational resources oncologists can use to close knowledge gaps.

Focus on Specialization

Part of the new assessment pathway will address core oncology topics, and another part will allow doctors to focus on their area of practice.

ABIM and ASCO will communicate directly with oncologists as more details are refined within the next year.

“The ABIM MOC program continues to evolve in new and exciting ways due to our active partnership with medical societies and doctors across the country,” said Richard J. Baron, President and CEO of ABIM. “We are proud to be working with ASCO, truly an innovator in offering excellent educational material in oncology, to co-create a new assessment pathway that upholds standards patients can trust while recognizing oncologists for the specialized knowledge they use to diagnose and treat cancer.”

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.