News & Press: Organization News

A Message from your President-Elect

Monday, July 8, 2019  

ACMQ Core Competencies
Beverly Collins, MD, MBA, MS, DFACMQ, CMQ

When I am in a room full of medical quality management specialists, I hear about many different backgrounds and job duties, as well as interests and pursuits. So, what specifically is our specialty and how do we broadcast what we do and verify our expertise and qualifications to say we are indeed practitioners in this field?

ACMQ has a mission to provide leadership and education in healthcare quality management, with objectives to:

  • Educate and provide a forum for healthcare professionals, government agencies, and other regulatory bodies involved in medical quality management;
  • Provide a core body of knowledge to healthcare professionals in the field of medical quality management

The College performs these objectives through its well-received annual meeting, the periodic webinars with great speakers, it’s textbook (now close to finishing the third edition), the journal with peer-reviewed original research in the field, as well as the members who fill the role of ambassador for the organization. With ACMQ providing the educational component, an affiliated organization was split off directly from the College to test members’ knowledge in medical quality management practice. This organization is the American Board of Medical Quality (ABMQ) that offers a written examination and successful candidates earn and can use the credential of Certified in Medical Quality (CMQ).

ACMQ also has recognition categories for members who have attained experience, education, and certification in the field of medical quality management. Those categories are Fellow and Distinguished Fellow.

Several years ago, the board of the ABMQ defined the core competencies which should be tested on the examination. As a starter, the “Medical Quality Management: Theory and Practice” textbook was used to identify the major themes that should be known by candidates successfully taking the exam and using the CMQ credential. Leaders in both ACMQ and ABMQ were surveyed to get their perspective about the relative importance and emphasis of each topic to the practice of medical quality. All responses were pooled and the average weightings were as follows:

Suggested Percentages Per Category
 Basics of Quality Improvement  17%
 Economics and Finance   5%
 Ethics of Quality   8%
 External Quality Improvement/Organizations/Education  7%
 Legal Issues  5%
 Medical Informatics  9%
 Organization Design and Management   9%
 Patient Safety  16%
 Quality Measurement  17%
 Utilization/Resource Management   7%
 Total  100%


These weightings are used as a guide in selecting the number of questions in each category that are included in each examination.

As we progress in this field of study, additional topics will surface in importance. In the new textbook, which is close to publication, the same basic categories are present, but there is much more detail within each that reflects developments in the field and issues that are important for practitioners in this specialty to know.

Think about showcasing your expertise in the field of medical quality management if you have not already. ACMQ offers the fellowship pathway, while ABMQ offers certification – both designations are important and can help to demonstrate expertise. We would love to have your input into these areas and participating in ACMQ activities is a way to gain additional expertise in our specialty – please join in and get the most out of your membership.


American College of Medical Quality
225 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 650 | Chicago, IL 60606 USA
Phone: 312-663-8026