All About the Initial ABIM Certification Examination

The initial certification examination in general medicine is run by the American Board of general medicine (ABIM).

Certification by the American Board of general medicine (ABIM) has stood for the very best standard in general medicine and its 20 subspecialties. Certification has meant that internists have demonstrated — to their peers and therefore, the public — that they need the clinical judgment, skills, and attitudes essential for the delivery of fantastic patient care.

ABIM isn’t a membership society, but a physician-led, non-profit, independent evaluation organization. They claim their accountability is both to the profession of drugs and therefore, the public.

The subspecialties of general medicine ABIM practice test include:

  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease
  • Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Hospice & Palliative Medicine
  • Infectious Disease
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Medical Oncology
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Rheumatology
  • Sleep Medicine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Transplant Hepatology

ABIM also offers general medicine with a Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine Maintenance of Certification program. While not a subspecialty, it’s a variation of general medicine certification.

Candidates can sit for the examination as long as the opposite requirements for eligibility for board certification are met. The initial certification examination in general medicine is run once yearly within the fall. It’s important to acknowledge that the registration window for the examination typically occurs around the turn of the civil year during which the examination is being taken which registration closes several months before the particular examination.

The ABIM practice test is computer-based and is run during a dedicated testing center. The examination is taken into account secure, and specific identification documents are required for entry to the testing center. The testing center can also use biometric methods for identification purposes. You’re also limited in what could also be taken into the examination room (such as cell phones, wallets, purses, watches, etc.). The time required to require the examination, which incorporates orientation, tutorials, and breaks, is up to 10 hours.

The ABIM practice test is run during a modular format with the four testing sessions on the day of the examination. A maximum of 60 questions could also be given per exam session or up to 240 questions for the whole examination. Questions are best-single-answer multiple-choice questions, most of which give a clinical vignette with multiple possible answer options; some may have clinical data (such as radiographic images, electrocardiograms, etc.) requiring interpretation.

The minimum passing score on the examination is an absolute standard established by the ABIM examination committee and approved by the ABIM Board of Directors; the pass-fail decision is predicated on the score on the whole examination.

Results are generally released within three months of the last date of the exam within the area where the examination is taken. Notification that the results are ready is by electronic message with instruction for accessing the score report from the ABIM website. Score reports are available on the website for 2 years from the date on which they were released.