ABIM and the future of maintaining certification

Knowledge Check-In assessment now available for FPHM


Given the unpredictability and wide range of patients and conditions physicians see in a hospital setting, keeping current with the latest trends and methods is essential. Until now, options for maintaining certification in Hospital Medicine were limited to ABIM’s 10-year, traditional Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam taken at a testing center. Beginning this year hospitalists will have a choice for how they maintain their certification with the introduction of the Knowledge Check-In (KCI) in Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (FPHM). Physicians who are currently certified in Internal Medicine can also use the KCI to earn their FPHM certificate once they have been admitted into the FPHM program.

KCI for hospitalists

The KCI is a shorter, lower stakes assessment option that takes about three hours to complete. Similar to the traditional 10-year MOC exam, it includes access to UpToDate® without the need for a personal subscription. Physicians can choose to take the KCI at a test center or online, such as from their home or workplace. The test center experience resembles that of the traditional 10-year MOC exam, with the main difference being the shorter testing format.

Dr. Nagendra Gupta

Since this is the first year the KCI is offered in FPHM, it is considered to be “no consequences,” meaning that if a physician is unsuccessful they will continue to be publicly reported as certified as long as they are meeting all other MOC requirements, and their next assessment will be due two years later. However, the “no consequences” feature does not apply to physicians who are already in a grace period. Please refer to ABIM’s policy on Traditional 10-Year MOC Exam Grace Period.

The longitudinal assessment option

Responding to feedback from the community for an MOC program that is lower-stakes and more closely aligned with how physicians practice, in August 2019 ABIM announced it would develop a longitudinal assessment pathway for physicians to acquire and demonstrate current knowledge. Longitudinal assessment is a process that involves the administration of shorter assessments of specific content, such as medical knowledge, repeatedly over a period of time. A critical component of longitudinal is that it integrates education into the assessment experience.

What features can you expect with longitudinal assessment?

The new assessment pathway is anticipated to launch in 2022 in as many specialties as possible. As the program is being developed ABIM is engaging with the community to ensure it will meet their needs, and physicians are encouraged to join its Community Insights Network by visiting With the new longitudinal assessment option physicians will be able to:

  • Answer a question at any place or time
  • Receive immediate feedback
  • See references and rationales for each answer
  • Access all the resources they use in practice, such as journals or websites

The traditional MOC Exam that is taken every 10 years will also remain an option, as some physicians have expressed a preference for a point-in-time exam taken less frequently.


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