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Published 7/1/2007

Don’t get caught short on MOC required exams

The Odd Couple Orthopaedic Group tackles self-scored and scored and recorded exams

Seven years ago, after completing a fellowship and passing his board certification examinations, Isaac M. Neat, MD, joined Ulysses R. Knott, MD, to form the Odd Couple Orthopaedic Group. Now, both must complete the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process—and their approaches are completely different.

Dr. Neat is fully engaged, having read articles in AAOS Now, reviewed information on the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Web site (www.abos.org), and consulted with colleagues. His motto is “don’t leave anything to chance.”

Dr. Knott figures everything has its time and place. His motto is “this will all get figured out in due time.”

When the two meet in the hospital locker room following a surgical case, they begin to discuss the MOC process.

Dr. Neat: Ulysses, have you filed your application with the ABOS for the MOC examination?

Dr. Knott: Isaac, quit bothering me. I have another surgery in 15 minutes and tonight is our monthly poker game and JAAOS study group meeting.

Dr. Neat: Ulysses, you need to file your application and meet the program requirements. Have you checked your CME transcript file at the Academy’s Web site yet?

Dr. Knott: The Academy maintains a CME transcript file for me?

Dr. Neat: You didn’t know that, did you? Not only does the AAOS have your CME transcript file, it also offers scored and recorded self-assessment examinations, enough courses and online opportunities to earn the required 120 CME credits, and an MOC Board Preparation Course. I’ve already filed my MOC application and signed up for the course.

Dr. Knott: Don’t worry. It’ll get done. What’s this “scored and recorded” stuff?

Dr. Neat: You mean you don’t know? What am I going to do with you, Ulysses? You probably think all self-assessment examinations are alike and anything will qualify for MOC. Well, you’re wrong…wrong, wrong, wrong!

Dr. Knott: I get the message. Now, about these scored and recorded exams…

Dr. Neat: We need to complete either one scored and recorded examination worth 20 CME credits or two examinations worth 10 credits each during a three-year period of the MOC cycle. The examination needs to be scored—and the score recorded—by the organization producing the examination.

Dr. Knott: Where do I get these examinations?

Dr. Neat: Well, if you read the information from the Academy, you would know! The AAOS currently offers four scored and recorded examinations. In 2008 and 2009—when the new special interest examinations are released—there will be six more available. But you have to be careful when you place your order…be sure to look for the words “scored and recorded.” Under the MOC regulations, other exams—such as the self-scored exams online or on CD-ROM—can be used for the general CME requirement, but the Lifelong Learning requirement specifies only “scored and recorded” self-assessment exams.

Dr. Knott: Anything else? I have a case waiting in surgery.

Dr. Neat: The Academy’s current scored and recorded exams include the 2005 Orthopaedic Self-Assessment Exam—but only in the scored format. Or you could take the special interest examinations on adult reconstruction of the hip and knee, sports medicine, or pediatric orthopaedics. Both the print and online formats of those exams qualify, as long as you choose the scored and recorded versions.

Dr. Knott: I’ve taken self-assessment exams. They’re a snap. Sit there, fill it out, check the answer. I always pass. What’s so tough?

Dr. Neat: Ulysses, you haven’t been listening. Self-scored is not the same as scored and recorded. The scored and recorded format is designed specifically for Academy members who need to meet the MOC self-assessment requirement. The self-scored format only qualifies for the MOC CME credits requirement.

With the scored and recorded format, you get book one and an answer sheet, and you have to complete the examination and post your answers online before you get a score. Then the Academy sends you book two, which includes discussion and reference information so you can review your answers. The Academy also updates your CME transcript to show that you have completed a scored and recorded examination.

Dr. Knott: What else do I need to know? Tell me quick.

Dr. Neat: That’s it. Just make sure you choose the format you need—scored and recorded to meet the MOC self-assessment requirement or self-scored to help meet the 120 CME credits requirement every three years. For more information about MOC, check the ABOS Web site, www.abos.org. To order scored and recorded exams from the AAOS, visit www.aaos.org/products