Last fall the American Academy of Sleep Medicine sent a letter on behalf of our members to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) expressing multiple concerns about the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. We described several aspects of the revised ABIM MOC program that are especially objectionable to our internal medicine members, including its high costs and overlap with existing CME requirements.

I am pleased to report that earlier this week the AASM and other specialty societies were contacted by the ABIM, which admitted that mistakes were made in the transition to a more-continuous certification. The ABIM also indicated that reasonable improvements are being implemented to address criticisms of the MOC program by making it more relevant and meaningful for physicians.

Immediate changes to the MOC program that have been announced by the ABIM include suspension of the Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety requirements for at least two years; changes to the language used to publicly report a diplomate’s MOC status on the ABIM website; greater recognition of CME credit; and a cap on enrollment fees through at least 2017. Although the AASM welcomes these changes, we remain committed to advocating for greater representation for the field of sleep medicine in defining, refining and setting standards for specialty certification and MOC.

In particular, we will continue to ask the ABIM for a reconsideration of the current requirement that diplomates in sleep medicine must maintain multiple certifications. AASM Director Dr. Ilene Rosen, our liaison to the ABIM, and I just completed a call with Dr. Patricia Conolly, Secretary of the ABIM, to ensure that Academy members’ concerns were heard. The AASM will keep members updated as we engage the ABIM on this issue and other matters of interest to the sleep medicine community.

As your professional society, the AASM gives voice to the concerns of sleep specialists and pursues strategic initiatives to advance the field of sleep medicine. Thank you for supporting these efforts by renewing your AASM membership for 2015.


Timothy Morgenthaler, MD