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Recertification in Internal Medicine: A Program of Continuous Professional Development

Stephen I. Wasserman, MD; Harry R. Kimball, MD; F. Daniel Duffy, MD, Task Force on Recertification*
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Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(3):202-208. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-133-3-200008010-00012
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In 2000, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) introduced a second-generation recertification process that builds on the current knowledge-centered program by adding assessments of clinical and communication skills, clinical performance, and medical outcomes. The three-part process, called a program of continuous professional development, includes innovative self-evaluation exercises, documentation of essential knowledge, and confirmation of satisfactory qualifications and professional and community good standing. The program introduces the principles of continuous quality improvement; deemphasizes the summary nature of the traditional secure examination; and is designed to be a more continuous, less saltatory process for maintaining clinical competence. With the continuous professional development program, ABIM believes that it has taken a substantial step toward creating a recertification process that meets its goal of being “valuable, doable, tolerable, and affordable” while maintaining the high standards expected of an accountable profession.

*For members of the Task Force on Recertification, see Appendix.


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A continuous professional development program for internal medicine.

Self-evaluation modules (clinical skills, practice performance, medical knowledge, and patient/peer feedback) may be completed in any sequence.

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