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Maintaining IM certification for those with subspecialty board certification

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  • Maintaining IM certification for those with subspecialty board certification

    This is a question that commonly comes up, at least in my field and I estimate for other IM specialties such as cardiology, as well. You only need and use your specialty certification, but initially paid for and may be continuing to pay for your basic IM certification, with questionable benefits to you. I hope to get as many answers on this as possible - if you are board certified in IM and ALSO a subspecialty within IM, are you or do you plan to maintain this IM certification indefinitely or have you/do you plan to drop it and maintain only your subspecialty certification?

    Please note this question only applies to those who are not actively using their IM certification - ie, you're not hustling as a hospitalist on the side or service as a medical director for your hospital which may require the IM certification. I am talking about the majority of regular clinician sub-specialists who do not actively use their IM certification
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    Yes or I plan to when due for renewal
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    No or I plan to drop IM certification and maintain only my specialty certification
    100.00%
    6

  • #2
    No, unless my hospital makes me.

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    • #3
      I do not. My subspecialty is in cardiology. Most of us also have to maintain certification in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology so it gets to be real drag. I might recertify in internal medicine again if the process was made easier. There is no way I can study for the 10 year recert exam at this point.

      By the way, if one has a true own occupation disability policy, that also may be a factor in deciding whether to maintain the certification or now. For example, with my current disability policy, if I become disabled so that I cannot practice cardiology but practice internal medicine, I would still be receive disability payments from the insurance company.

      JPM

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      • #4
        I’m EM & CCM. Unfortunately, I’m required to maintain my EM certification to maintain my CCM certification. Hopefully this changes.

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        • #5
          I paid for the combined IM/Hem/Onc boards with one low fee years ago and took the modules they sent by mail. When the tie came to take the boards the fees had gone up and I was not allowed to take the 2 specialty exams and drop IM without paying significant additional fees.

          I said sc**w you to additional fees, and took all the 3 boards hoping I will pass one of them. I read the MKSAP and Med Study materials for the IM that were given to me for free by my internist friends. Surprisingly I passed all three exams with good scores.

          I have not done any MOC or other BS since then.Just used UpToDate and accumulated CME. The recert for all 3 is due to expire in 4 years. By that time I would be retired and have no intention of paying any additional fees to those money grubbers.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jeanpierremelville View Post
            I do not. My subspecialty is in cardiology. Most of us also have to maintain certification in echocardiography and nuclear cardiology so it gets to be real drag. I might recertify in internal medicine again if the process was made easier. There is no way I can study for the 10 year recert exam at this point.

            By the way, if one has a true own occupation disability policy, that also may be a factor in deciding whether to maintain the certification or now. For example, with my current disability policy, if I become disabled so that I cannot practice cardiology but practice internal medicine, I would still be receive disability payments from the insurance company.

            JPM
            Great response. To be clear, are you arguing that if you had maintained your IM certification and were disable from cardiology but still able to practice IM you would not be eligible for DI payments?

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            • #7
              I let my IM go at the first renewal, more than 10 years ago.

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              • #8
                I have a hard time thinking of a disability that would affect gen cards but not IM.

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                • #9
                  Agree. Can’t envision a scenario where you’re disabled from cards but still do IM.

                  I’ve seen/heard of a couple doing dropping Interventions and doing gen cards with a little disability payout.

                  also zero plans here in maintaining IM. Screw those guys.

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                  • #10
                    I'm a cardiologist and dropped IM long ago.
                    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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                    • #11
                      GastroMastro - Yes, if I still had my IM certification and if I could not longer practice cardiology but could practice IM, then my insurance company MUST pay me. It is in the contract. There are a couple of scenarios that I can think of where this could come into play.

                      1. A general cardiologist loses his/ her vision and can no longer read EKG/ echoes/ NSTs. As a result, he/ she goes into IM outpatient (there are cases of blind physicians practicing in outpatient settings).
                      2. A cardiologist becomes wheelchair bound. The physician can no longer see patients but can teach medical students/ housestaff and can do administrative work. This is not practicing IM but one could still have a full-time job and receive disability payments from the insurance company.

                      These are low likelihood scenarios but that's what WCI readers and bogleheads love to think about. 2.5% SWR anyone?

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