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July 31, 2019

Update on GI societies’ conversations with ABIM on MOC

ABIM could be closer to implementing MOC that is simpler, less intrusive, less expensive and does not include high-stakes assessments of areas where the diplomate may not practice.  

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The four GI societies alerted our joint membership last fall that our organizations had developed a new, clinically relevant alternative to the current MOC framework based on a longitudinal assessment rather than high-stakes testing. This pilot known as the “GOAL Program” was developed collaboratively by the four societies and has been the focus of ongoing negotiations with ABIM since last winter. 

In the intervening months, ABMS, the parent board of ABIM, issued its Vision for the Future report that echoes and underscores the four societies’ proposal to move away from costly, burdensome high-stakes testing to a model based on principles of lifelong learning.

ABIM hit the pause button on our talks. 

Recently, ABIM suspended the ongoing discussions with the GI societies about our proposed pilot alternative to MOC, putting the planned alternative on hold while ABIM assesses a path forward in light of ABMS’ directives to its member boards. This is potentially good news since it’s a signal that the ABIM board is rethinking its approach in light of the ABMS vision report.

We won’t stay paused. 

In a recent letter to Dr. Richard Battaglia, ABIM’s chief medical officer, the four societies sought a commitment from ABIM to provide clear direction and a clear timeline for continuing discussions on GI MOC generally and GOAL specifically. We respectfully requested an update by Aug. 15 and restated the frustration over the current MOC program among our collective membership.

We heard you and we won’t stop advocating. 

In communicating with ABIM about MOC, the GI societies have repeatedly conveyed that our members are dissatisfied and deeply frustrated with the current MOC paradigm and are impatient for change.

No matter what, our organizations will not stop advocating to find an alternative that is fundamentally consistent with the principles we have espoused over the past few years: MOC needs to be simpler, less intrusive, less expensive and should not include high-stakes assessments of areas where the diplomate may not practice.

We will keep you apprised of what we hear from ABIM. We want to take this opportunity to again convey our fundamental commitment to you, our members, to advance clinically relevant and practical solutions to address the limitations of MOC as it currently stands.

Hashem B. El-Serag, MD, MPH, AGAF

AGA President

Michael W. Fried, MD, FAASLD

AASLD President

Sunanda V. Kane, MD, MSPH, FACG

ACG President

John J. Vargo, II, MD, MPH, FASGE

ASGE President

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