Building a New Board for Cardiovascular Medicine | SCAI

In August 2023, SCAI issued a statement addressing ongoing concern and confusion around how the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) maintenance of certification (MOC) process ties directly into certification status for interventional cardiologists. SCAI felt strongly that this confusion could endanger the certified status of its members in a haphazard fashion, which would inevitably impact patient care. The statement was meant to support and advocate for our members, trainees, and patients at a critical juncture while we contemplated next steps to improve accountability and transparency in the certification process.

To that end, SCAI, The American College of Cardiology (ACC), Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) are working together to develop a formal application to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the parent body of ABIM, for a new American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine (ABCVM). This new entity would be an independent, self-governed body, by and for cardiologists, and committed to a streamlined, transparent, and accountable process of initial and ongoing certification. 

What does this mean for you? If approved by the ABMS:

  • Certification status will not be tied directly to annual MOC participation and fees, but rather, there will be a fully transparent 5-year cycle to ensure ongoing certification of members via a positive, not punitive, process; 
  • The new board will be directed by cardiologists, with the initial board composed of 2 directors from each professional society, introducing accountability to the cardiovascular community and the patients we serve; 
  • SCAI will be one of the societies responsible for drafting and approving the ABMS Application, including its governing bylaws;
  • Streamlining certification to enable a more automatic process of CME documentation at a time of high burnout means our members have more time to focus on patient care and work-life balance;
  • A positive focus on getting all certified physicians to remain certified, rather than a negative focus on trying to find those that shouldn’t be certified.

Now is the time to change how and by whom competency in cardiovascular medicine is assessed! SCAI, HRS, HFSA, and the ACC believe this new board is the answer. To that end, we are excited to announce the submission of this formal application to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), requesting that a new cardiovascular board of medicine become a reality. ABMS remains the only authority universally recognized by the public, regulators, and payers for ongoing physician certification in the U.S.

Over the coming weeks, we will be posting a number of informational videos, FAQs, and other activities at that will explain the ABMS application process and answer preliminary questions about what the new Board could look like and how we envision it will replace the current "Maintenance of Certification" process with a pathway for continuous certification and competency, including: 

  • A dedicated Heart to Heart Presidential Discussion recorded on September 27, hosted by ACC President Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, along with SCAI President George Dangas, MD, PhD, MSCAI; HRS President Jodie L. Hurwitz, MD, FHRS; and HFSA Immediate Past President Mark Drazner, MD, MSc, FHFSA; and others, discussing the collaboration and next steps.
  • Applying for a New ABMS Cardiovascular Board, recorded on November 14, also hosted by Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, and ACC President, with SCAI President George Dangas, MD, PhD, MSCAI; America Heart Association President Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, FAHA, and others, discussing why this change is necessary for the cardiovascular profession and the patients that it serves. 

Tune in to for updated information.