Dr. Wachter agrees the RFP in HM is an “attractive” option to hospitalists, especially those whose recertification is looming in the next two or three years. This MOC, he explains, “offers a pathway that is more in sync with the medicine [they are practicing] day in and day out.”
ABIM plans to have comprehensive information about the process available on its Web site (www.abim.org) this month and online registration available in May 2010 (see “FAQs,” left). While the test-writing committee finishes its tasks, Dr. Holmbloe says, ABIM’s systems department is working to build the online infrastructure. The first RFP in HM tests should go live in fall 2010.
“For those individuals [whose certificates] expire in 2010 or 2011, this is a viable pathway for recertification. If HM is their passion, this is for them,” Dr. Holmbloe says. “The major change, from ABIM’s perspective, is the ability to implement the concept of a focused practice. It’s the first time, a new paradigm. This does recognize that the world has changed.”
Every physician, sometime in his or her career, has crammed for a test. ABIM, however, recommends physicians start this process two or three years before their certificate expires. That timetable might work for some hospitalists, not so much for others. In any event, Dr. Flanders says hospitalists can count on SHM to help them prepare for the HM-specific examination.
“SHM has to help develop the tools and resources hospitalists will need to successfully prepare for and pass this test,” he says. He expects educational resources and self-assessment modules will be available on SHM’s Web site (www.hospitalmedicine.org) and at HM10, April 8-11 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Wellikson says MOC preparedness “should match [SHM’s] educational projects,” and his staff “will continue to develop” tools and resources to assist hospitalists. He also recognizes the moment: the notch on HM’s evolutionary timeline where a once-fledgling group of inpatient physicians helped chart a new course for American medicine.
“Obviously, 10 years ago was too early. Now there are 30,000 hospitalists. Many of them are making HM a career. It’s evolving as a discipline,” Dr. Wellikson says. “We’ve moved beyond the idea of HM to the reality of HM.” TH
Jason Carris is editor of The Hospitalist.
- Wachter RM, Goldman L. The emerging role of “hospitalists” in the American health care system. N Engl J Med. 1996;335(7):514-517.
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