The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) approved a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program to promote continuous learning and periodic assessment throughout the length of diplomates’ certification. The guiding principles behind MOC include ensuring that the highest standards of patient care are established and maintained, and assuring patients, physicians, and other stakeholders that certified physicians are being assessed by reliable and valid measures to continually improve patient care. Each of the 24 ABMS Member Boards has implemented an MOC program. ABEM Maintenance of Certification is the ABEM MOC program.
Most emergency physicians recognize the importance of staying current, but with the advent of continuous certification and ABEM MOC, all diplomates have additional incentives for doing so. ABEM’s approach to MOC is to establish meaningful standards while understanding that ABEM diplomates are busy. ABEM MOC uses the convenience of the Internet to conduct the annual self-assessment tests. Assessment of Practice Performance (APP) focuses on efforts diplomates are already engaged in to improve quality of care. The cognitive expertise examination, ConCertTM, is offered in computer-based testing centers across the nation. ABEM believes that making MOC convenient and flexible, and providing options wherever possible will facilitate physicians’ abilities to meet the new standards.
The ABEM MOC program is based on four components, as envisioned by the ABMS. The four components of the program are:
ABEM MOC was implemented in 2004, and ABEM continues to develop its design and structure to better provide ABEM diplomates with a program of continuous professional development and evaluation in Emergency Medicine. In 2011, ABEM's MOC requirements were modified for all ABEM diplomates and former diplomates. The background for these changes is described in an article by Mark Steele, M.D., ABEM President 2010–2011, in the Summer 2011 issue of the ABEM Memo. To view the article, click here.
A summary of the new requirements compared to the previous ABEM MOC requirements is available by clicking here.
To see specific requirements for current diplomates, click here.
Diplomates may sign into ABEM MOC Online to check their individual requirements and status.