AGA Creates Board Certification and Recertification Prep Tool

March 07, 2013

Note from our editors: This article is the fourth in a six-part series aimed to walk you through the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) future implementation of changes in physician certification.

By John F. Kuemmerle, MD, AGAF

Passing the ABIM secure examination is a requirement for both board certification and recertification. ABIM diplomates who participate in maintenance of certification (MOC) must pass the exam every ten years to maintain board certification. Two effective strategies for successful exam preparation are securing a strong base of basic medical knowledge and having extensive practice answering board-style, multiple-choice questions. AGA has created a new Board Review Item Bank. This free opportunity is available to help trainees and members not only expand their medical knowledge and highlight areas of relative weakness, but also to gain extensive practice answering board-style questions.

Over the last several years physician performance on the Gastroenterology Board Recertification Exam has declined. ABIM documented that the 2010 pass rate of 84 percent for gastroenterologists was the lowest since 2006. The pass rate was higher among first-time test takers (94 percent of first-time test takers passed the certification exam compared to 85 percent of recertification exam takers). The AGA Governing Board formed an ABIM MOC Task Force to determine how to help AGA members prepare for both exams. Based on member survey findings and review of AGA and non-AGA board review materials, the task force concluded that the availability of additional board-style review questions are needed for trainees and members to use for board review preparation would be beneficial.

AGA’s new Board Review Item Bank provides trainee members and members free online practice tests addressing specific GI and Hepatology Core Curriculum topics. Each topic includes a set of approximately 20 multiple-choice questions in practice test format. The first two topics, IBD and GI Bleeding, are already available. Additional topics will be added each month. Future topics include Disorders of the Pancreas and GI Motility. Please note that the Board Review Item Bank does not carry either MOC points or CME credits. The tool is for board review and question practice.

The Board Review Item Bank can be accessed with at: (requires log in)

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