American Board of Pathology Statement on Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission Recommendations
TAMPA, Fla, (March 18, 2019)- The Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission released its final report to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board of Directors on February 12, 2019. The report included a set of recommendations to help continuing certification evolve into a more meaningful and relevant program that brings value to a physician’s practice and meets the highest standard for quality patient care. The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) is proud to share that, with input and the ongoing support from our stakeholders, we have already met or are well on our way to complying with each of the recommendations. In keeping with our mission to serve the public and advance the profession of pathology, we are dedicated to designing a program that best serves patients and others who rely on the meaningful credential of board certification.
One of the principal recommendations, with subsequent agreement by all 24 ABMS Member Boards, was to commit to longitudinal or other formative assessment strategies and offer an alternative to the high-stakes, point-in-time examinations of knowledge. Prior to the report, ABPath launched the ABPath CertLink® pilot in July of 2018, in partnership with ABMS, as an anticipated replacement for the Continuing Certification (CC) Part III exam. While the scientific and medical landscape quickly advances, this online program for longitudinal assessment supports continuous professional development that is flexible and relevant to the needs of busy physicians while meeting the public interest belief that assessment of a physician’s knowledge should be ongoing. ABPath CertLink has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response from our diplomates and is developing into a thorough and valid assessment for making summative decisions about medical knowledge, judgment, and skills. Much of this success is due to the feedback and participation from our diplomates together with the hard work of our volunteers.
Another key recommendation was to develop an infrastructure to support learning activities that produce data-driven advances in clinical practice. The continued commitment of ABPath to collaborate with specialty societies, the CME provider community, and other expert stakeholders meets this objective. ABPath hosts annual meetings with our Cooperating Societies to identify and address issues of importance to our profession. Through the relationship with these fine organizations, our Continuing Certification Program recognizes and documents participation in a wide range of educational and quality assessment activities in which diplomates already engage. ABPath has a CC Advisory Committee that meets monthly. Composed of diplomates from a variety of practice settings, it has allowed ABPath to receive feedback and improve our CC program. Additional feedback is obtained using focus groups and surveys to draw on our diplomates’ experience to continually make our program relevant and valuable. We will continue to have open communication channels and provide opportunities for diplomates to be a part of the process of continuous improvement.
The full Commission Report can be read here.
About the American Board of Pathology
The mission of the American Board of Pathology, as a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties, is to serve the public and advance the profession of pathology by setting certification standards and promoting lifelong competency of pathologists. Founded in 1936, the ABPath accomplishes this mission by establishing certification and continuing certification standards and assessing the qualifications of those seeking to obtain voluntary certification in the specialty of pathology. For more information on ABPath, visit abpath.org or call (813) 286-2444.
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