CHESTThought Leader BlogPreparing for ABIM Board Recertification

Preparing for ABIM Board Recertification

Choices, choices, choices—how should I recertify? Being quadruple board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in internal medicine (IM), pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine (CCM), and sleep medicine felt great at the end of fellowship training. Ten years later, I am now faced with the responsibility of maintaining all four board certifications and the reality that I will essentially have to complete a board recertification exam each consecutive year for the next 4 years; and, this will likely recur in another 10 years in perpetuity until I choose to retire.

Fortunately, the timing of my IM and pulmonary medicine recertification coincided with the introduction of the Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA) option. The LKA is a timed, open-book exam which one takes on a quarterly basis to ensure maintenance of certification (MOC) of the IM board. As a pulmonary and critical care medicine (PCCM) sleep physician, finding the time for keeping up with general IM and current practices can be more challenging, and, so, I found the LKA is a great way to balance updates in my IM knowledge and fits well into my busy schedule.

Similarly, I am once again faced with the choice of how best to recertify for the pulmonary boards this year. I had to acknowledge that much has changed in the principle and practice of pulmonary medicine since completion of the fellowship, and studying for the 10-year recertification exam would not be an easy process. In addition, if I am honest, I found the first pulmonary board exam to be the hardest out of the four board exams. As such, I had to make the choice between the LKA option or attempting the 10-year recert exam.

The choice, however, was an easy one. This is because I love pulmonary medicine, I enjoyed studying for my pulmonary boards 10 years ago, and the resources available from CHEST to support physicians recertifying are excellent. Available CHEST resources include CHEST SEEK™ study tools, the recordings from previous board review sessions, and the in-person board review courses. It is fortunate that the CHEST Pulmonary Medicine Board Review course is being held locally here in Miami this year. This presents a great opportunity for me to attend the review course with our own PCCM fellows as we prepare for certification/recertification.

For me, the recertification process is not simply about passing an exam, as it also invariably will ensure the updating and consolidation of one’s clinical knowledge post fellowship training. It is that confidence in one’s clinical knowledge and ongoing addition to that knowledge base that makes the recertification process so relevant. I have not yet decided what option I will choose for CCM and sleep medicine recertification in the next 2 years, respectively; but no matter my choice, I know I will be a better-informed physician for another 10 years.

Dionne M. Morgan, MBBS, FCCP

Dionne M. Morgan, MBBS, FCCP

Dionne M. Morgan, MBBS, FCCP, is a board-certified physician specializing in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Dr. Morgan earned her medical degree from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, and completed her specialty training in internal medicine and pulmonary/critical care medicine at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY, followed by a sleep medicine fellowship at National Jewish Health/University of Colorado in Denver, Colorado. She currently serves as a clinical assistant professor of medicine, core teaching faculty, and staff intensivist at HCA Florida Aventura in Miami, FL.