Answers to frequently asked questions about Maintenance of Certification (MOC) through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)
What is MOC and who participates?
- As described by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), MOC is a four-part process of lifelong learning and competency (Part 1: Licensure and Professional Standing; Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment; Part III: Cognitive Expertise; Part IV: Practice Performance Assessment) in a specialty/subspecialty that includes measurement against six core competencies, including professionalism, patient care and procedural skills, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and systems-based practice. There are 24 medical specialties for board certified physicians, including internal medicine, anesthesiology, and pediatrics, that are part of the ABMS Member Boards and participate in the ABMS MOC® program. Learn more here.
When did the requirements change?
- ABIM introduced new requirements for the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program in early 2014.
What do I need to do/know?
- In order to be reported as“Meeting MOC Requirements,” you will need to enroll in MOC and complete an MOC activity to earn ABIM MOC points by December 31, 2015 and every two years thereafter.
- In addition by December 31, 2018, and every five years thereafter, earn 100 points distributed across key areas: medical knowledge (at least 20 points) and practice assessment (at least 20 points). In addition, you must fulfill a patient safety and a patient survey requirement.
- The points earned every two years will count toward your five-year requirement, and also count toward the milestones for the certifications you are maintaining.
- Every 10 years, you’ll also need to pass a secure exam in each certification area you choose to maintain, and you will earn 20 MOC points for your first attempt in each certification area (whether you pass or fail). You can earn MOC points by completing ABIM’s own MOC products, and for most products, at no additional cost, you may also be eligible for CME credit. In addition, there are many other activities developed by other organizations that ABIM has approved for MOC.
I earned MOC points prior to 2014. Can I count these towards the new MOC requirements?
- Unfortunately, any points earned prior to 2014 will not count towards maintaining certifications expiring 2018 or beyond. Only points earned for MOC activities completed in 2014 and after will count towards the “Meeting MOC Requirements” reporting.
My certification expires between 2014-2017, do I have to enroll in MOC?
- Please visit moc2014.abim.org to find out how MOC changes will impact you. You will need to meet the existing requirements by the expiration date on your certification and follow the steps to be meeting MOC requirements in 2014 and beyond.
I hold two ABIM certifications – does this mean I have to double the MOC requirements?
- No. You have only one set of MOC requirements; You will have to meet the two and five-year point requirements as outlined above and all points will count towards the milestones for the certifications you are maintaining. If you have certifications in Interventional Cardiology or Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine, you will need to continue to attest to meeting the additional program-specific requirements.
I am a grandfather with a time-limited/lifetime certificate. Do I need to meet the MOC requirements?
- ABIM will honor all certifications issued, and assuming you hold a current and valid license you will remain certified. However, ABIM will report whether or not you are meeting MOC requirements. If you opt to not participate in MOC, you will be publicly reported as “Certified, Not Meeting MOC Requirements.” To be reported as “Meeting MOC Requirements” you will need to meet the point requirements as previously outlined, and complete a secure MOC exam in your certification area by December 31, 2023.
Where can I go for more information?
- Log onto your MOC Status Report on ABIM.org to see what you need to do to be reported as “Meeting MOC Requirements” and to maintain your certifications.
How can ASE help me?
- ASE had released two volumes in its “ASEUniversity III: Case-Based Learning” product, each approved for 10 points towards medical knowledge self-evaluation requirements. Each volume covers several key topic areas through a study of clinical patient scenarios provided and analyzed by field experts. Learning sessions available at many of ASE’s live activities will also provide you with interactive discussion time with echo experts to help guide you through the cases found in this online module.
What if I am not certified through the ABIM?
- You will need to check your certification board for MOC requirements specific to you.