AGA proposes alternate pathway to recertification

August 20, 2015, American Gastroenterological Association

Frustrated by a maintenance of certification process that doesn't improve patient care, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) this week released a proposed alternate pathway to recertification that is based on established learning theory. 1,3 It eliminates the high-stakes examination and replaces it with active, adaptive, self-directed learning modules that allow for continuous feedback.

AGA shared the proposed pathway with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), which runs the current maintenance of certification (MOC) process that has drawn ire from the medical community for not meeting physician needs. AGA welcomes feedback and comment by ABIM, AGA members and leaders of other medical societies.

"There is now a greater emphasis than ever before on disease pathways, clinical guidelines and quality improvement, making it important for physicians to remain current with newer recommendations and practice standards," said Michael Camilleri, MD, AGAF, president, AGA Institute. "Maintaining certification should be a process of active learning, not high-stakes testing. AGA supports continuous education and that enhances . We want to work with ABIM and other partners to improve the recertification process."

Four things to know about AGA's alternate pathway called The Gastroenterologist: Accountable Professionalism in Practice or G-APP:

  • Individual self-assessment pathways allow physicians to demonstrate a high level of competency in one or more areas, while maintaining a more general level of competency in other areas.
  • Individualized self-assessment activities provide constant feedback and opportunities for learning and replace the secure high-stakes exam now required every 10 years.
  • Physicians get credit for activities they are already doing in practice, research or teaching.
  • G-APP is based on principles of competency that are the same as those used to train gastroenterology fellows to independently care for patients.

"AGA does not expect the recertification process to change overnight, but we are getting the conversation started in a substantial, meaningful way that's based on solid precepts of adult learning theory," says Suzanne Rose, MD, MSEd, AGAF, councillor to the AGA Institute Governing Board and chair of AGA's Task Force on MOC. "Adults learn best when education is individualized, tailored to their needs and problem based—which in active medical practice translates to patient-centered. AGA embraces an ideal pathway of continuous professional development within these paradigms as an alternative to the current recertification process."

G-APP was developed by an AGA on MOC charged with defining a recertification process based on educational theory and designed to meet the needs of physicians struggling to meet the demand brought about by monumental changes in health care. After a scholarly review and consideration of these factors, the task force developed G-APP, their vision of the ideal pathway for recertification of gastroenterologists.

Explore further: AGA releases first independently developed ABIM-approved Practice Improvement Module in GI

More information: Read the full proposal, Bridging the G-APP: Continuous Professional Development for Gastroenterologists: Replacing MOC with a Model for Lifelong Learning and Accountability, at … -5085(15)01177-4/pdf, and the editorial, An Alternative to MOC?, at … -5085(15)01178-6/pdf. Provide feedback to AGA at

Related Stories

AGA releases first independently developed ABIM-approved Practice Improvement Module in GI

May 7, 2012
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute's Procedural Sedation/Patient Safety Practice Improvement Module (PIM) has received approval from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to be part of ABIM's ...

AGA guidelines boldly suggest high value care for incidental CT findings

March 25, 2015
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has released new guidelines on the management of asymptomatic neoplastic pancreatic cysts found incidentally during computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging ...

ABIM implements changes to MOC program

February 10, 2015
(HealthDay)—The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has changed or suspended several of the recent revisions made to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program, to the satisfaction of American medical organizations, ...

Cost of physician board recertification fuels questions about best outcomes for patients

July 29, 2015
Many physicians are pushing back against or debating new requirements for maintaining medical board certifications, which affect more than 250,000 physicians nationwide. Now, a new study by UC San Francisco and Stanford University ...

AGA releases new tool to help GIs evaluate and treat Crohn's disease

September 15, 2014
The treatment of Crohn's disease is evolving. To help gastroenterologists better identify and manage their Crohn's disease patients, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has created a clinical decision tool ...

ABFM: no change to maintenance of certification requirements

February 6, 2015
(HealthDay)—In response to the announcement of changes to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) has announced ...

Recommended for you

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.