MOC Overview and History


Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is a program of educational and professional development designed to assess the competence of physicians on an ongoing basis throughout their professional career. The MOC program is based on the 6 general competencies identified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the ABMS: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and systems-based practice. The 6 competencies are represented in the 4 components of MOC:

  1. Evidence of Professional Standing:
    • License attestation
  2. Evidence of Commitment to Lifelong-Learning and Periodic Self-Assessment:
    • Patient safety module
    • CME attestation
    • Periodic self-assessment of general knowledge
  3. Evidence of Cognitive Expertise:
    • Cognitive examination
  4. Evaluation of Performance in Practice:
    • Practice assessment/Quality Improvement
    • Patient or Peer communication surveys (optional)

MOC and You

If you certified before 1991, you hold a lifetime certificate and participation in MOC is entirely voluntary. If you hold a lifetime certificate, it cannot be revoked based upon your performance on a recertification examination that you have taken voluntarily or if you decide not to pursue all elements of the MOC program.

If you certified in the period 1991-2005, you were issued a time-limited certificate. Since 2006, you enter MOC only upon successful recertification, and are not required to complete any elements of MOC until your successful recertification.

If you certified after 2005, you automatically entered into MOC.

For additional information on the history (and future) of MOC, please see MOC in dermatology- what we know, what we don’t.

Also see the website section MOC FAQs

Contact Us

American Board of Dermatology
2 Wells Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02459
Office Hours: Mon-Fri,
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
(617) 910-6400 (Phone/Fax)

Our Mission

To serve the public and profession by setting high standards for dermatologists to earn and maintain Board certification.