An Overview of the New Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Process

Jul 14, 2009
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Beginning in January 2008, ABOG introduced the new Maintenance of Certification also known as MOC. Anyone who became board certified from 1986 onwards is obligated to complete this process if they wish to maintain their license.

This process contains 4 parts:

1) Proof of good professional standing. This comprises an ABOG generated computer search of all state licenses held by the candidate, looking for limitations or revocation
2) The Lifetime Education or Annual Board Recertification (ABC) which requires OB/GYNs to read a list of prescribed articles and answer an ‘open book’ multiple choice question test. A pass grade of 70% is required from a minimum of 120 (out of a maximum of 180) questions. This is taken once every year.
3) A ‘closed book’ multiple choice question test which includes the salient parts of the articles from Part 2 (above). This test is taken in the 5th or 6th year of a 6 year cycle. This test is a big unknown since it has never before been administered and is the cause of a lot of consternation amongst OBGYNs.
4) A series of modules completed online to confirm that OBGYNs are maintaining a certain standard of practice. This is also known as the Practice Performance and Self Assessment Quality Improvement

Of all these 4 components, Part 3 is causing the most concern within the profession, although Parts 2 and 4 do require a significant amount of time to complete. The relevant practical concerns pertaining the new MOC will be dissected out in greater detail is subsequent articles. A friendly warning to new certified OBGYNS who have just passed your oral board exam: You must register immediately for the MOC process since their board certification only lasts 1 year!