The new testing option explained
Yul Ejnes, MD, a member of the ABIM board of directors and a practicing internist in Cranston, Rhode Island, outlined the testing options beginning in 2018:
More flexibility. Dubbed the “knowledge check-in,” the 2-year test can be taken with the help of a yet-to-be-named online reference source, and can be taken at home or at a testing center. Results will be available instantly.
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Lower stakes. If a physician fails one 2-year test, it does not mean an automatic loss of certification. If a doctor fails two consecutive 2-year assessments, then additional steps—including taking the long-form, 10-year exam—will be required to maintain certification, according to ABIM. Physicians can still choose to take the 10-year exam to renew certification.
No consequences in 2018. Physicians who need to recertify in 2018, the first year this new option will be available, will also have a grace period of sorts. There will be no consequences for failing the test in 2018, but skipping the test would result in loss of certification. Failing the test in 2018 will require taking the test again two years later.
What about certification in 2017? Physicians whose certification is up in 2017 will have to take the traditional 10-year exam.
What about subspecialties? Subspecialties will be offering the new check-in by 2020. Some subspecialties will be moving to the new option sooner than that.