The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is proposing still another piece of sanctified paper for internists to strive for and jump through hoops to obtain.
According to a news article in the July 1,2007 issue of Internal Medicine News, ABIM's Board of Directors has approved the concept and is moving forward awaiting the report of a committee,due in Feb. 2008, charged with the development of requirements.
This certification is to be optional and is called a Recognition of Focused Practice.
Apparently the board has endorsed the idea that "comprehensive internal medicine is different from what is recognized by the underlying general internal medicine certificate."
We get little information about exactly how this differs from what internists do typically.The article gives few hints. We are told that preliminary discussions about this certification lead to, according to Dr. Richard Baron, a "remarkably consistent vision". But as to specifics we are told only that the comprehensive internist should communicate effectively and have a deep knowledge of medicine and the patient.So far it sounds like what we thought we trained to do as internists and what I still think internists should do. So we need a specific certificate for that? There must be more to it. A Google search for "certification comprehensive internal medicine" lead to no useful hits. I could not find any further details on the ABIM's website. I guess if we approve of "bribing doctors" to do their job ( AKA P4P) we might as well give them an extra certificate for knowing their business and talking to patients.
This along with a similar certification for hospital medicine still awaits approval from the American Board of Medical Specialists. I don't know what the final requirements will be but I'll bet we will heard about performance indicators, electronic medical records and more hype about the "advanced medical home" and a team approach.