ABMS New Standards
On behalf of the ABAI Board of Directors, the ABAI Executive Committee endorsed the New Standards for Continuing Certification recently approved by the the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board of Directors. ABMS recognizes that it will take time for Member Boards to implement new programs consistent with these new standards, thus the revised Standards will take effect on January 1, 2024. The ABMS press release highlights that the new Standards represent the culmination of three years of inclusive and transparent work relying on consultation with physicians, professional and state medical societies, consumers, and other public stakeholders from across the health care spectrum to reconceive the way specialty physician recertification is conducted.
These new standards will enable ABMS and Member Boards (ABAI is one of 24 Member Boards) to better achieve mission goals in two foundational ways:
* Support both the learning and improvement needs and desires of diplomates while providing the public with a reliable, and dependable credentials.
* Promote meaningful collaborations acknowledging that professional self-regulation is a collaborative process that requires the involvement of partners including professional societies, Associate Members and hospitals and health systems who all have an important role in supporting their members’ engagement in meaningful learning and improvement work.
ABAI has already transformed its continuing certification led by the launch of the Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) in 2018 and alternative pathway recognitions for Part IV Practice Assessment / Quality Improvement activities in response to diplomate feedback and initial Vision Commission Recommendations. These new standards from the ABMS represent an endorsement of core elements of ABAI continuing certification requirements and programs already in place. Thus implementation of these new standards has already been achieved in most areas and full implementation by ABAI is expected to be seamless without additional burden to diplomates.
These new standards will improve standardization across specialties such as the public display of a diplomate's status and addressing professionalism. They will provide added momentum for collaboration across specialties and the many healthcare stakeholders in areas of data sharing and developing quality agendas that move the needle on patient quality of care and safety, as well address emerging national health priorities such as disparities of care.
The responsiveness to patient and diplomate needs and the transparent development process is a testament to the value of professional self-regulation. Furthermore, it is an indicator of the enduring commitment of ABAI, ABMS and fellow Member Boards to continually improve programs providing additional value to the public and diplomates.
ABAI joins the ABMS Board of Directors and the many Member Boards (ABFM, ABR, ABD, ABP, ABA, ABOG and ABO) publicly endorsing these new standards and congratulating all stakeholders involved in their development.
Luz Fonacier, MD
Michael R. Nelson, MD, PhD