Education & Meetings

ASN Policy Statement on Maintaining Career Excellence

  1. ASN endorses the role of the American Board of Internal Medicine—as one of the American Board of Medical Specialties' 24 specialty boards—to provide the initial certification for nephrologists.
  2. ASN supports the lifelong learning of nephrologists through educational activities and self-assessment programs.
  3. ASN believes in the right of each nephrologist to choose a process of maintaining career excellence that affirms the values of the medical profession as well as highlights to the public her/his ability to provide high-quality care.
  4. ASN opposes efforts by entities outside the medical profession to weaken the public's faith in the ability of the medical profession to self-regulate.
  5. ASN is committed to working for its members and their patients to:
    • Improve all aspects of the assessment of professional competence.
    • Explore innovative and more efficient approaches to ensuring nephrologists provide high-quality care for their patients.

Posted August 2017

ABIM MOC Updates

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is in the process of introducing two-year Knowledge Check-Ins, as an alternative to the traditional 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) examination, starting with internal medicine and nephrology in Spring 2018. The ABIM Knowledge Check-Ins do not fully address ASN’s concerns, but ASN’s leadership and staff will do their best to support nephrologists who choose this pathway.

  Knowledge Check-In
(new 2-year assessment)
Traditional MOC Exam
(enhanced 10-year exam)
Required Frequency Every 2 years Every 10 years
Location At home, workplace, or test center Test center only
Available In Internal Medicine & Nephrology All subspecialties
Assessment Experience
Recorded & spot-checked
(not live proctored)
Recorded with in-person proctoring
Open Book
(access to UpToDate®)
Internal Medicine & Nephrology
(remaining specialties to follow)
Internal Medicine & Nephrology (Spring 2018)
All specialties (Fall 2018)
Immediate Results Yes for most physicians
(full performance feedback will follow)
Scheduling Available 4-6 times a year Twice a year
Breadth of Discipline Yes Yes
Points 20 medical knowledge points for every assessment attempt 20 medical knowledge points for every first assessment attempt per 10-year cycle
Length About 3 hours will be allotted
(most will finish in 2-2.5 hours)
Same as current length
(full day of testing)


  1. Will the ABIM Knowledge Check-In cover the breadth of my discipline or be more targeted?
    Initially, the Knowledge Check-In will cover the breadth of nephrology, but ABIM is continuing to explore how to move to assessing a subset of knowledge relevant to practice in the future.
  2. What does "no consequences” mean for the ABIM Knowledge Check-In?
    • If a physician is successful on the Knowledge Check-In in 2018, it will count as a pass. If a physician is not successful and their exam was due in 2018 or 2019, they will have another opportunity to take it again in 2020 without a change to their certification status.
    • This rule doesn't mean physicians can skip the assessment. If a physician skips it, and his/her certification expires in 2018, his/her status will change to Not Certified.
    • In addition to meeting other certification requirements, physicians with certifications expiring in 2018 will need to take the Knowledge Check-In or pass the traditional MOC exam or they will no longer be certified.
  3. What does "open-book" mean? What can I access?
    Open book means that physicians will begin to have access to UpToDate® during the new Knowledge Check-Ins and traditional MOC exams. Unfortunately, UpToDate® is the only "open book" resource that ABIM will accept at this time.

    For the 2018 Knowledge Check-Ins in internal medicine and nephrology, physicians will be able to access UpToDate directly through the exam platform.

    For the traditional MOC exams:
    • Spring 2018: Physicians will be able to access UpToDate directly through the exam platform for part of the internal medicine and nephrology traditional MOC exams, while the other part will be closed book.
    • Fall 2018: Physicians will be able to access UpToDate for the entire Internal Medicine and Nephrology traditional MOC exams. All other traditional MOC exams administered in Fall 2018 will feature access to UpToDate for part of the exam.

    Physicians will not need their own UpToDate account to access it during the exam.
  4. What dates is the Knowledge Check-In offered for Nephrology in 2018?
    June 7, June 9, November 1, November 6
  5. When will I need to pay? How much does this cost?
    ABIM is finalizing a new fee structure, which includes the new Knowledge Check-Ins. Total program fees paid over a 10-year period are expected to remain close to current levels, according to ABIM.

For more information, please visit ABIM's website,, or contact ABIM,

How ASN Helps Its Members Meet These Requirements

Medical Knowledge

Through December 31, 2018, ABIM does not require Practice Assessment, Patient Safety and Patient Voice in its MOC program.

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