Quick Guide to the Abim Exam


American Board of internal medicine (ABIM) is a physician-led, non-profit, independent evaluation organization driven by doctors who want to realize higher standards for better care. The cost of the certification program is decided by the Certification exam fee(s) and differs by subspecialty.

ABIM Board Certification demonstrates that physicians have met rigorous standards through intensive study, self-assessment, and evaluation. Additionally, certification encompasses the six general competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and sets the stage for continual professional development through values-centered on lifelong learning. To be certified, a physician must:

  • Complete the requisite predoctoral medical education
  • Meet the training requirements
  • Meet the licensure requirements and procedural requirements
  • Pass a certification examination

Know what material is going to be covered in the exam. The ABIM publishes an exam blueprint detailing what element is represented on the examination, with the proportion assigned per content category. Keep this in mind going forward to better focus and guide your study sessions. The exam also addresses other critical areas in conjunction with the medical content, referred to as “cross-content categories.” Keep in mind that not all questions have a cross-content classification, but it might serve you well to familiarize yourself with the categories as well.

The exam consists of multiple-choice questions with one correct answer, most of which describe clinical scenarios. These types of case-based questions would require you to make a diagnosis, identify and issue necessary tests and interpret test results, recommended treatment, and understand the underlying pathophysiology of disease applicable to patient care.

Take the time to assess the content you would like to cover, and portion it out into manageable increments once you’ve grasped the breadth of the material, schedule times throughout your day dedicated solely to the topics and sections you’ve chosen to specialize in. Setting a strict schedule and mapping out a plan of attack from the get-go won’t only assist you in managing time and stress, it also ensures that you simply cover all relevant material.

Starting with topics that are familiar to you’ll help get you started and reinforce what you recognize, also as familiarize you together with your study habits.

Exposing yourself to an abim practice test early will warm you up to the content you ought to expect to ascertain on the exam, and also assist you in assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your general medicine study guide is mapped to the ABIM Blueprint and offers case-based questions that emulate the Q&A format seen on the particular exam.

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Things to keep in mind when choosing an internal medicine board review course: As far as board review questions and abim practice tests go, consider quality as well as the quantity. Insist upon a review that gives thorough, detailed, case-based items that require involved study and active reading. This is often the type of quality content you’re presumably to retain long-term.

ABIM also may evaluate candidates’ or diplomates’ fitness for Board Certification – including their professionalism, ethics, and integrity — in disciplinary matters, and ABIM’s good faith judgment concerning such issues is going to be final.

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