Are You No Longer Board Eligible in Internal Medicine?
Physicians seeking board certification in internal medicine start the process knowing that it may be altogether demanding. Not only must they satisfy several eligibility requirements, such as submitting proof of medical school education, letters of recommendation, and completing an accredited residency, but they must also study and sit for comprehensive certification exams – all while practicing their specialty day in, day out. But, for the dedicated internists who achieve certification, the process is more than worth it. As one of the highest honors a physician can receive, board certification makes practitioners highly marketable to employers and instills patients with confidence that their doctor has the skills and knowledge to give them the best care available.
Unfortunately, many talented internists are at risk of losing their opportunity to become certified. That’s because, in July 2012, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) initiated a seven-year time limit for qualified internists to be considered “board eligible,” starting after they met the initial requirements, or on July 1, 2012, whichever was later. If ABIM board-eligible physicians fail to earn certification by the end of their eligibility period, they must complete a year of retraining in an ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship program in order to re-establish eligibility. Thankfully, there is another option.
Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM)
Qualified internists can apply now through the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM), a member board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). The ABPS is nationally recognized as a prestigious choice for multi-specialty certification, with ABPS Diplomates practicing in all 50 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.
Our eligibility requirements are certainly strict, and our testing standards are valid, reliable, and psychometrically sound. Not only that, we are the only major certifying body that requires a non-remedial medical ethics course every eight years. But once you’ve earned BCIM certification, you will be part of a diverse group of like-minded professionals respected throughout the health care industry, and who act as public advocates within their chosen specialty, share knowledge and best practices, and enjoy ample professional networking opportunities.
Eligibility Requirements of the BCIM
To be eligible to apply for certification with the BCIM, an internal medicine physician must have an unrestricted medical license for every state in which he or she is licensed. Other eligibility requirements include:
- A curriculum vitae that includes medical school experiences and degrees earned
- Graduation from a medical school accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, or the Committee for the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools
- Completion of an internal medicine residency accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the AOA. The ABPS also accepts residencies recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
- Two letters of recommendation from Diplomates of the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine
BCIM Exam for Board Certification
The BCIM exam provides physicians with an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the core competencies required for delivering excellent medical care in internal medicine. Consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions, the computer-based exam is evaluated using industry-standard psychometric criteria. It covers a variety of related areas, such as dermatology, cardiology, genetic disorders, nephrology, endocrinology, allergies and immunities, and neurology. For registration dates, fees, and more information, click here. Upon successful completion, all ABPS certificates are valid for eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.
To learn more about candidate requirements for BCIM board certification, or about the benefits of certification through an ABPS Member Board, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialties, Inc.