ABVLM’s New Online Learning & Assessment Program
Many ABMS Boards are modifying their recertification programs, replacing the every 10-year formal exam with what many believe are better and more relevant learning and assessment models. The American Board of Anesthesiology led the way with their MOCA Minute™, and other medical boards are following suit with similar programs.
In August 2018, the ABVLM launched its own Online Learning & Assessment (OLA) program in lieu of the 10-year pass-fail exam. The board felt this was a better way to provide ABVLM diplomates an opportunity to continuously learn about important areas of venous and lymphatic medicine.
The OLA platform consists of four exam-style questions per month that are delivered via email to all diplomates. Once a diplomate selects their answer from the multiple-choice options, they are immediately provided feedback as to the correct answer, an explanation of the rationale, and references to additional, frequently online resources.
The OLA system, accessible from computers, tablets, and phones, allows diplomates to review past items, or items from specific topic areas. The board agreed that this program, requiring only 5 minutes per month to answer four items, would be of much greater benefit than requiring a 4-hour, 200-item exam every 10 years. The decennial recertification exam measures physicians’ knowledge base at a point in time every 10 years, but does little to help them retain or reinforce learning during the years prior to the exam. The OLA offers a more relevant and personalized approach to helping diplomates assess their knowledge and address knowledge gaps in an ongoing fashion.
The “grading” of the ABVLM OLA program is currently based simply on participation. The board policy is that all diplomates must participate in the program in order to maintain their certification. The board will be looking at aggregated statistics for items, intending to provide feedback to the educational arms of venous- and lymphatic-related medical societies so their programming can address areas of need.
All diplomates should be receiving an email at the beginning of each month with the subject line of: “ABVLM Certification - OLA Monthly Items for Review.“ Within that email is a link to a third-party, internet-based program where the four items are presented after securely logging in. Diplomates need not answer all the questions in one session, but the board expects everyone to complete the 4 items within the month the link is provided.
The system sends reminder emails automatically if you have not started the items within two weeks’ time. If month end is approaching and the assignment is incomplete, another email reminder is sent.
If you have not been receiving these OLA monthly emails starting in August 2018, please contact the ABVLM headquarters office immediately so we can address this. Diplomates can provide a secondary email address for just the OLA Program, if that works better for their workflow.
Some have asked how long the OLA program will run. Since it is a replacement for a decennial recertification exam, the program is intended to run indefinitely, for as long as a diplomate wishes to maintain their ABVLM certification in good standing. Diplomates who do not participate in OLA will be flagged as Not Participating in MOC to any third-party verification service (such as hospitals, third-party payers, state medical boards, patients, or any other credentialing agency). Over a longer time period, diplomates in non-compliance risk their certification lapsing.
The board believes that any diplomate should be able to find 5 minutes per month in order to review these educational offerings. References for additional learning are provided.
There is a very short Quick Reference Guide that illustrates with screen shots just how easy it is to use the OLA program. That is linked here: ABVLM.org/files/pdfs/OLA_Use_QRG.pdf
This valuable, educational program which replaces the 10-year exam will be of great benefit now and in the future to educate diplomates on important aspects of venous and lymphatic medicine, and will help fulfill our goal to promote life long learning.