The Internal Medicine Certification Exam is a certification test that can be very helpful if you are planning to start your own medical practice or you are trying to obtain a position as a physician in a clinic, hospital, medical group, or another similar location. This exam, which is designed by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and administered by Pearson VUE, is meant for physicians that are trying to prove that they have the medical knowledge that they need to perform the duties of an internist, a primary care physician, or another similar professional in the field of internal or general medicine.
- ABIM Exam Tips
The Internal Medicine Certification Exam typically includes 240 multiple-choice questions that will test your knowledge of adolescent medicine; allergies; critical care medicine; dental medicine; dermatology; the diseases that affect the cardiovascular system; the diseases that affect the pulmonary system; disease prevention, injury prevention, and substance abuse prevention; endocrinology; end-of-life care; environmental medicine; epidemiology; gastroenterology; geriatric medicine; gynecology; hematology; infectious diseases; medical oncology; nephrology; neurology; nutrition; obstetrics; occupational medicine; ophthalmology; orthopedics; otolaryngology; palliative care; patient safety; professional ethics; psychiatry; rheumatology; women’s health; urology; and other similar topics.
It is important to note, however, that there are different versions of the exam and that the specific number of questions that you will be required to answer may vary slightly depending on the version of the exam that you receive. It is also important to note that most of the questions on the exam are specifically related to the situations and medical conditions that a physician in a clinic, a doctor’s office, an emergency room, or another similar facility that provides outpatient care would typically encounter, but approximately 25% of the questions on the exam are related to the situations and conditions that a physician would encounter in an inpatient facility such as a nursing home or a telemetry unit. In other words, most of the questions on the exam will ask you to apply your medical knowledge to the diseases, injuries, and problems that a primary care physician or an emergency room doctor may need to treat, but the exam will also include questions on the diseases, injuries, and problems that other physicians may need to treat as well.
If you pass the Internal Medicine Certification Exam, you will earn the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification. The ABIM Internal Medicine Certification is not required by law, but it is one of the most widely recognized certifications in the medical field and nearly 25% of all physicians (both inside and outside the field of general medicine) have the certification. In fact, even though you are not technically required to have the Internal Medicine Certification to work in the field of general medicine, you may find that it is extremely difficult to find a position and/or establish a practice without it. This is because most of the clinics, hospitals, and medical groups that employ general physicians will require you to obtain the Internal Medicine Certification or another similar certification before you apply for a position. It is also important to note that the Internal Medicine Certification is typically required for the subspecialty certifications that the ABIM offers, and you will usually need to obtain your Internal Medicine Certification before you apply for a subspecialty certification. In fact, you will need to obtain the Internal Medicine Certification even if the subspecialty certification that you are pursuing does not technically require it because all of the subspecialty certifications that do not list the Internal Medicine Certification as a requirement require other subspecialty certifications that you cannot obtain without the Internal Medicine Certification. Some of the subspecialty certifications that do not technically require the Internal Medicine Certification, but may require you to obtain it for another certification that is required include the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Certification, the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Certification, the Interventional Cardiology Certification, and the Transplant Hepatology Certification.
ABIM Eligibility Requirements
The certifications that the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) offers can be extremely important if you are planning to work in the field of internal medicine. In fact, the ABIM’s certifications are not only important for physicians in the field of internal medicine, but are also important for physicians in almost every other medical specialty as well. This is because a physician, regardless of his or her specialty, is responsible for finding the best way to treat his or her patients, and there’s no guarantee that every patient will have a disease or condition that falls within the scope of the specialty that a physician practices. A certification like the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification, as a result, can be extremely helpful because it proves that you are familiar with the major diseases and conditions that patients may experience even when those diseases and conditions do not necessarily fall within the scope of the specialty that you practice. However, it is important to note that these certifications are all intended for physicians that are already ready to start their careers, and you will have to meet a series of requirements in order to prove that you are ready to use your certification before you take the exam. This means that, if you are planning to work in the field of internal medicine or another similar field that requires you to have a broad understanding of the medical field, you may want to know what the requirements for the ABIM Certification Exams are.
The first set of requirements that you will need to meet to take an ABIM Exam are the education requirements. In order to meet the education requirements for the ABIM Exams, you will need to have a doctoral degree from a medical school that is accredited by an organization approved by the ABIM. This means that if you are planning to obtain your degree in the United States or Canada, you will need a degree from a school that is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, the Committee for Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools, or the Liaison Committee on Medical Accreditation (LCMA.) If, on the other hand, you are planning to obtain your degree in a country other than the United States or Canada, you will have to take a special exam to prove that you have the skills that you need. The exam that you will need to take for a foreign degree can be taken through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or the Medical Council of Canada.
The second set of requirements that you will need to meet to take an ABIM Exam are the training requirements. In order to meet the training requirements for the ABIM Exams, you will need to complete a 3-year residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME.) However, the residency program that you complete must not only be accredited, but must also allow you to complete at least one year of training in the internal medicine field at each of the levels that residents typically train at, including residency levels R-1, R-2, and R-3; complete no less than 2 and half years (30 months) of training in internal medicine and/or its subspecialties; spend 2 years supervising residents with less experience than you and/or providing care to patients, including at least 6 months of supervising and/or providing care within your first year; and require you to spend no more than 4 months in primary care.
The third set of requirements that you will need to meet are the licensure requirements. In most cases, you will need to obtain a medical license for the country in which you are planning to practice and prove that your license doesn’t have any restrictions on it to meet the licensure requirements. However, it is important to note that the ABIM, in some rare cases, will allow an individual that has already completed all of the education and training requirements to take the exam before he or she obtains his or her medical license.
ABIM Recertification Requirements
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has a number of different certifications, and each of these certifications can be very helpful if you are planning to work in the field of internal medicine. In fact, many aspiring physicians find that it is extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, to obtain a position in the field of internal medicine and/or attract the patients that they need to attract without one or more of these certifications. However, it is important to note that obtaining an ABIM certification is only half of the battle because you will not only need to obtain a certification, but will also need to maintain it in order to receive the benefits that a certification offers on an ongoing basis. This means that if you want to obtain a position in the field of internal medicine and keep it, you have to know what you need to do when it’s time to renew your ABIM certification.
Renewing an ABIM certification can be a process, but there are typically four requirements that you will need to meet every ten years to keep your certification current.
- First, you must meet the licensure requirements that you originally had to meet to get the certification in the first place. In other words, you must have a current medical license for the country in which you are working and prove that your license doesn’t have any restrictions on it. In fact, if you lose your license, allow your license to expire, or the medical board for the state in which you are practicing restricts your license in any way at any point, the ABIM may not only prevent you from renewing your certification, but may also revoke your certification.
- Secondly, you must meet the self-evaluation requirements for recertification. In order to meet the self-evaluation requirements for recertification, you have to earn 100 self-evaluation points. These points are basically continuing education credits that you earn by reading an article or a series of articles related to the medical field and taking an online test known as a module. However, it is important to note that you will have to complete certain modules in order to meet these requirements, and the ABIM will typically require you to earn no less than 20 points from Self-Evaluation of Medical Knowledge modules, no less than 20 points from Self-Evaluation of Practice Performance modules, and 60 points from any combination of the two main types of modules.
- Third, you must meet the specialty and/or subspecialty certification requirements. Most of the subspecialty certifications that you can obtain from the ABIM will require you to have the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification before you obtain your subspecialty certification and will require you to maintain that certification for as long as you have the subspecialty certification. This means that if you are attempting to renew a subspecialty certification, you will usually have to renew your ABIM Internal Medicine Certification first. However, it is important to note that some of the ABIM subspecialty certifications may require other certifications instead of the ABIM Internal Medicine Certification, so it may be a good idea for you to make sure that you have the certification that you need to renew your subspecialty certification.
- Finally, you must meet the examination requirements. In most cases, you will have to pass a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Examination before you renew your certification, and this exam will be very similar to the certification exam that you originally had to take to obtain your certification in the first place. In fact, the setup and content of each of the MOC Exams that you will need to take will be almost identical to the setup and content of the Initial Certification Exams that you originally took to earn each of your certifications. The only major difference is that the MOC exams typically have 180 questions and the Initial Certification Exams typically have 240 questions.