We have known it was coming, but now Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is upon us. The “class of 2010” will be the first to recertify under the new process, and if you are among those Diplomates whose board certification expires in 2010, pay particular attention to this article. The amount of effort required and the proximity of deadlines will amaze you. It amazed me when I began to dig deeper.
The FIRST thing you need to do is go to www.abos.org and register to get a username and password. Then have a good look at the process. Just to clarify, MOC did not originate from the AAOS nor is it an Academy activity. It originated from the American Board of Medical Specialties, the mother board of the 24 specialties, and it is administered by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS).
If you were hoping to take your test in 2008, forget it. You have already missed the deadline. We are now halfway through the process to apply for the 2009 test.
Remember Dec. 15!
To sit for the 2009 computer examination, you need to circle Dec. 15, 2007, on your calendar—with a big red circle. This date is critical. It’s the deadline for submitting copies of Continuing Medical Education (CME) certificates that prove you earned 120 hours of ACCME-accredited Category 1 CME during calendar years 2005 through 2007 to the ABOS. Of those 120 hours, at least 20 hours must be scored and recorded self-assessment exams (SAEs), meaning you must submit your answer sheet for scoring rather than self-scoring. (See the July AAOS Now—online at www.aaos.org/now—for an explanation of the difference between self-scored and scored-and-recorded SAEs and a list of Academy offerings that meet both requirements.)
Also by Dec. 15, 2007, you must have completed submitting a 3-month case list of consecutive cases, up to 75, performed in 2007. Each of these cases must be entered individually on the password-protected ABOS Web site in great detail, including almost two screens of dropdown menus, ICD-9 codes, CPT codes, questions on preoperative planning and follow-up, and a brief narrative of the case.
If you successfully complete these steps by Dec. 15, 2007, you will be able to access the application for the 2009 examination on the ABOS Web site, starting Jan. 15, 2008. You have to complete and submit the application and fee by May 1, 2008. Once you receive your acceptance-to-sit letter, you have until Dec. 15, 2008, to submit your computer pathway confirmation. The examination itself takes place in 2009.
The requirements and deadlines for the MOC oral examination pathway are slightly different, so check the ABOS Web site for details. Whew!
The hurdles here are the scored-and-recorded SAE requirement and the case list. Both the AAOS and the specialty societies have scored-and-recorded SAEs available, but don’t wait until the end of the year to take them…or you may not receive your scoring certificate in time for the Dec. 15, 2007, deadline.
As for the case list, I strongly suggest that you choose three months between January 2007 and June 2007 and start entering your cases now. It will take a lot of time.
If you have questions or need further clarification, contact the ABOS office directly at (919) 929-7103. Paul DeRosa, MD, the ABOS executive director, can be reached at (919) 967-8741.
John T. Gill, MD, is a member of the “class of 2010” who missed the deadline for the 2008 exam and is working hard to meet the deadlines for the 2009 exam. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming MOC deadlines
Diplomates whose certificates expire in 2010
If you plan on taking the exam in 2009, you should currently be amassing the 120 hours of category 1 CME credits (including 20 hours of scored-and-recorded self-assessment exam credit) that you’ll need by Dec. 15, 2007, which is also the deadline for submitting a 3-month list of all your cases, or 75 consecutive cases. You’ll need to apply for the exam by May 1, 2008, which is also when proof of licensure status and admitting/surgical privileges is due and the peer review process must begin.
If you plan on taking the exam in 2010, you should be amassing the 120 hours of category 1 CME credits (including 20 hours of scored-and-recorded self-assessment exam credit) that you’ll need by Dec. 15, 2008, which is also the deadline for submitting a 3-month list of all your cases, or a maximum of 75 consecutive cases. You’ll need to apply for the exam by May 1, 2009, which is also when proof of licensure status and admitting/surgical privileges is due and the peer review process must begin.
Diplomates whose certificates expire in 2011 and 2012
If your certificate expires in 2011, you can take the exam in 2009, 2010, or 2011; if your certificate expires in 2012, you can take the exam in 2010, 2011, or 2012. The deadlines follow the same pattern as for the class of 2010, meaning that you must obtain 120 hours of category 1 CME credits (including 20 hours of scored-and-recorded self-assessment exam credit) by Dec. 15 of the year prior to the application deadline. You must also submit a three-month case list of all cases, or a maximum of 75 consecutive cases, by Dec. 15 of the year prior to the application deadline.
The deadline for submitting proof of licensure status, admitting/surgical privileges, and peer review due dates is May 1 of the year prior to the year you take the secure exam—which is also the deadline for applying for the exam.
For more information
To learn more about your MOC requirements and due dates, visit www.abos.org and click on the “Diplomates” tab. Then, select the year your certificate will expire to find the deadlines you must follow and to learn more about each MOC component. You may also call the ABOS at (919) 929-7103.