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Released on Sep 17, 2020

Updates from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) serves the public and the medical profession by improving the quality of health care through setting professional standards for medical specialty practice and certification in partnership with its 24 certifying Member Boards, including the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). Two recent announcements are important to note for ASGE members and GI Fellows (see below):

ABMS Announces Progressive Leave Policy for Residents, Fellows

Starting in July 2021, all ABMS Member Boards with training programs of two or more years duration will allow for a minimum of six weeks away once during training for purposes of parental, caregiver, and medical leave, without exhausting time allowed for vacation or sick leave and without requiring an extension in training. Member Boards must communicate when a leave of absence will require an official extension to help mitigate the negative impact on a physician’s career trajectory that a training extension may have, such as delaying a fellowship or moving into a full, salaried position.

The development of the new ABMS Policy on Parental, Caregiver and Family Leave was initiated following a report from the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME's) Council of Review Committee Residents in June 2019. ABMS and ACGME co-sponsored a workshop on resident and fellow parental and family leave this past February that brought together more than 80 multidisciplinary stakeholders to explore this issue and make recommendations for improvement. Following the workshop, an ABMS Task Force on Parental Leave was established to develop the policy.

The newly approved policy offers ABMS Member Boards the flexibility to create a parental, family, or medical leave protocol that best suits the training required for their specialty and/or subspecialty.

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Longitudinal assessments and Similar Formative Assessment Strategies

All 24 American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Member Boards are implementing either longitudinal assessments or similar formative assessment strategies that serve as alternatives to the highly secure, point-in-time examinations of knowledge. Some boards already have transitioned to these alternative approaches.  Boards who have had initial experiences with these alternative assessment programs include the American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecology, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and American Board of Anesthesiology

The transition to these approaches has offered boards unique opportunities to work with their specialty societies to develop continuing certification and/or continuing professional development activities that satisfy continuing certification requirements.   ASGE continues to work with our sister GI Societies and ABIM in its formation of a future longitudinal assessment program for gastroenterologists. 

Click here for more information from ABMS