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:
- Evidence of Professional Standing:
- Evidence of Commitment to Lifelong-Learning and Periodic Self-Assessment:
- Patient safety module
- CME attestation
- Periodic self-assessment of general knowledge
- Evidence of Cognitive Expertise:
- 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 MOC examination that you have taken voluntarily or if you decide not to pursue all elements of the MOC program.
If you certified in or after 1991, you were issued a time-limited certificate.* Certificates issued during the period 1991-2005 were renewable by a process called “recertification”. Beginning in 2006, all time-limited certificates, whether for initial certification or for ongoing certification, are renewed through the MOC program. Diplomates with time-limited certificates are automatically enrolled in MOC.
For additional information on MOC, please see the MOC FAQs.
*The above timeline applies to dermatology specialty certification. Subspecialty certification in dermatopathology did not become time-limited until 2006.