The American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKA®) has entered its second year of availability, and was launched in January 2023 for the disciplines of pulmonary disease and critical care medicine, as well as infectious disease. If you are due for an ABIM assessment in 2023 in pulmonary disease or critical care medicine, the deadline to enroll in LKA is June 30, 2023.
Many diplomates—including myself—are taking advantage of the flexibility offered by the LKA to maintain certification in one or more specialties. Others are using it to regain certifications that they allowed to lapse. Both scenarios offer a lower-stakes and less time-intensive route to maintaining or recertifying that also promotes relevant and timely learning in a given discipline. Remember that you can still choose to take the traditional 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam in any discipline if you feel that works better for you than the LKA.
Detailed information about the LKA and how it works, as well as a walkthrough video and FAQs, are available on ABIM’s website. Following are some suggestions based on the experience of physicians who are currently enrolled in the LKA.
Take it one day at a time
With 30 questions released each quarter, the LKA is designed to be manageable and work with your schedule. You could take one question a day or every few days over the course of the quarter or you can choose to do all 30 in one sitting—whatever works for you. Each correct answer also earns you 0.2 MOC points, meaning that over time, you could potentially achieve all of your required MOC points through the LKA alone.
Don’t forget your time bank
Every question has a 4-minute time limit, but if you need more time to think through a question or look up a resource, you can draw from a 30-minute extra time bank that renews each year. On average, physicians answer most questions in less than 2 minutes.
The LKA is essentially “open book,” meaning you can use any resource to help with a question except for another physician. Some physicians cite online sites or hard copy medical references as reliable resources, and CHEST offers additional resources that can be helpful, as well.
Set up your work area for success
Many physicians report using two screens or two devices while taking the LKA—one with the LKA platform open to answer questions and one for looking up resources. Questions involving viewing of media will prompt you when a larger screen may be helpful.
Consider the cost savings
The LKA is included in your annual MOC fee for each certificate you maintain at no additional cost. If you use the LKA to meet your MOC assessment requirement, you don’t need to take the traditional 10-year MOC exam or pay an additional exam fee.