Focus on Professionalism

On October 14, 2019

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Professionalism Task Force held its first, in-person meeting on Monday, September 23 in Chicago, making progress in both defining medical professionalism and professional standing. Prior to their meeting, members of the Professionalism Task Force participated in the “ABMS-NBME Symposium on Professionalism: Advancing Assessment of Professionalism in Continuing Certification” hosted on Sunday, September 22. A proceedings paper, detailing the discussions and insights garnered from the ABMS-NBME Symposium, is being created and will be available in early 2020.

The Symposium, which included nationally recognized leaders in the areas of professional self-regulation, assessment, education and remediation, served as an excellent foundation for the Task Force members, and helped frame their discussions surrounding the issues of professionalism and professional standing along the continuum of education and practice. Input from the Symposium, coupled with commentary and feedback from key stakeholders in professionalism and professional standing in certification, will assist the Task Force carrying out the Professionalism Recommendations of the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission (Commission).

During its meeting, Professionalism Task Force members conducted a comprehensive review of current ABMS Standards for Maintenance of Certification, focusing specifically on current requirements for Professionalism and Professional Standing (Part I). They also reviewed and explored recent ABMS Committee Reports offering recommendations on how to streamline and improve the manner by which the ABMS Member Boards approach the evaluation of both professionalism and professional standing, such as by working towards greater consistency in approaches to judgments regarding professional standing.

The Task Force spent considerable time discussing the benefits of a common approach and set of standards regarding how licensure status affects certification status. They also began to craft a set of guiding principles to inform the Standards Task Force charged with developing new standards for continuing certification by the end of 2020.

In addition to the work underway by the Professionalism Task Force, the remaining four Achieving the Vision Task Forces are meeting, considering core principles to inform their work, and advancing the recommendations made by the Commission. The ABMS Member Boards also continue to make programmatic and process improvements that directly align with the Commission’s recommendations. The progress to date is highlighted both in a newly created short video as well as an implementation plan summary. In addition, information regarding the work of the Task Forces and updates on the Member Boards’ progress can be found on the Achieving the Vision web page.

Sign up for email updates about the boards’ implementation efforts.

Download a PDF of this Achieving the Vision Update.

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