2010 could be called the year of recognition for hospitalists. For the hundreds of hospitalists who were inducted as fellows, senior fellows, or master fellows in April, it has already been a momentous year. For some of them—and others, too—their journey toward full recognition of their efforts in the hospital will continue by taking the inaugural Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (FPHM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) secure examination administered by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
Registration opened for eligible candidates May 1.
The registration period ends Aug. 1.
The first exam is Oct. 25.
In order to qualify for the FPHM MOC program, candidates must submit attestations to ABIM—both from themselves and a supervisor—that demonstrate that the applicant “meets thresholds for internal medicine practice in the hospital setting and professional commitment to hospital medicine,” according to ABIM’s Q&A document about the program.
In addition to attestations, program entrants must have served as a hospitalist for at least three years and fulfill ABIM’s basic requirements for the MOC (see “FPHM Eligibility Requirements,” p. 10).
Why Do It?
While HM has been gaining recognition in the healthcare arena for more than a decade, the FPHM MOC pathway is the first of its kind—and it represents the first time hospitalists will be recognized on an individual level by an independent evaluation organization like ABIM.
“This is a momentous opportunity at every level,” says SHM vice president of operations and general manager Todd Von Deak. “For the individual members, it provides a new kind of recognition of their expertise in a growing specialty. At a higher level, every applicant in the Hospital Medicine MOC program is helping to elevate the specialty among their peers and patients.”
For its part, SHM is helping to promote the program to its membership through informational e-mails to members and additional visibility on the website, www.hospitalmedicine. org.
“We are thrilled to introduce this program to our members,” Von Deak says. “We already have seen strong initial support for the program from SHM members, and we’re confident that even more will apply soon.”
Why Do It Now?
Participation in the first year of the FPHM program can influence the support the program receives in subsequent years, according to Von Deak. “A robust launch year is important to the success of a program like this,” he says. “SHM members can demonstrate to ABIM that this is a valuable program within the specialty by signing up soon. Strength in numbers is critical.”
Plus, hospitalists aren’t required to wait until their ABIM certification expires before registering for the FPHM program. While ABIM certification, which must be renewed every 10 years, is a prerequisite for the FPHM MOC, ABIM-certified hospitalists can register for the program at any time.
Hospitalists who don’t register soon will have to wait for more than 18 months before they can be recognized for their work by ABIM. Certificates for successful applicants in this year’s program will be distributed to hospitalists in early 2011.
For more details, visit www.abim.org, click the “Get Information by Specialty” box, then click the “Hospital Medicine, Focused Practice” section. TH
Brendon Shank is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.