The survey findings report that 59 percent of general internists and 60 percent of subspecialists participated to maintain their professional image. Additionally, 51 percent of general internists and 60 percent of subspecialists participated to update their medical knowledge.
The survey results are summarized in an article, "Who is Maintaining Certification in Internal Medicine -- and Why? A National Survey 10 Years after Initial Certification," published in the Jan. 3, 2006, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine and available at http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/144/1/29.
The survey was conducted by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians to identify factors that influence participation in MOC and explore how diplomates (physicians board-certified in internal medicine and its subspecialties) perceive the value of the program.
The impetus for this study was that ABIM estimated that about 77 percent of internal medicine generalist physicians and 86 percent of internal medicine subspecialty physicians with time-limited certificates participate in MOC.
Specifically, ABIM estimated that 23 percent of general internists and 40 percent of internal medicine subspecialists were not renewing their internal medicine certificates, and 14 percent of subspecialists were not renewing their subspecialty certificates.
Board certification is not mandatory but is required by many employers to gain privileges to practice.