American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®


Recertification: Is it tougher for internists?

Phyllis Maguire

While many internists complain about the time and cost of recertification, some believe that they face a tougher recertification process than most other specialties.

Here's a look at the recertification requirements of some other specialties:

  • Family physicians must recertify every seven years. In addition to passing an exam, they must document licensure and CME, and they must submit several patient charts for an office record review.
  • General pediatricians must also recertify every seven years. They must either take a written or computer exam or complete three different computer-based components on knowledge, diagnoses and management. The American Board of Pediatrics estimates that each of the three components takes eight to 10 hours to complete.
  • For urologists, recertifying every 10 years means undergoing peer assessment, completing CME courses and submitting a three-month surgery/office procedure log. Urologists must also take a three-hour, 60-question test.
  • Since 1986, surgeons have been subject to mandatory recertification every 10 years. To recertify, surgeons must supply a one-year log of their operations, take a five-hour exam and earn 150 hours of CME credits. Seventy five of those credits can be earned through the Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program [SESAP], which is produced by the American College of Surgeons.

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