AAOS Now

Published 3/1/2012
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Maureen Geoghegan

Managing Maintenance of Certification

Confused about where you are in your 10-year certification cycle? Wondering what all the talk about Maintenance of Certification (MOC) really means for you? Preparing for your recertification exam? The AAOS and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) have a variety of resources available to improve your understanding of MOC and your CME and self-assessment requirements—as well as to help you plan, manage, and achieve MOC.

Does MOC apply to you? Chances are, yes.
If you have a time-limited certificate, no matter when it expires, you should be somewhere in the 10-year MOC cycle—and you should be registered as a participant in MOC. Even if you have a lifetime certificate, you should enroll as a participant in MOC—whether you plan to take the oral or written exam someday or not.

Here’s why: Several several states are working to implement “Maintenance of Licensure” (MOL) requirements through the Federation of State Medical Boards. MOL is envisioned as a system of continuous professional development for physicians and participation would be a condition for license renewal. Physicians who are already engaged in MOC, however,could be recognized as being substantially in compliance with such a program. If you have a lifetime certificate and are not enrolled in MOC, you may have to take a general medical knowledge test to maintain your medical license.

Beginning in August 2012, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the ABOS will post the names of physicians who have registered to participate in MOC. This information will be available to the public, to hospital administrators, and to state officials. If MOC participation is required as a condition of licensure or credentialing, your name should be on that list.

Enrolling in MOC is easy. Simply visit the ABOS website (www.abos.org) and click on the “How to Sign up for MOC” icon at the top of the screen. Follow the prompts to register as an MOC participant.

Look for the Learning Portfolio
The AAOS and ABOS are developing a new online service to help you manage your CME requirements over the 10-year MOC cycle. The free program—the Learning Portfolio with MOC Manager—will stage your 10-year certification cycle and track your earned CME, provide an opportunity for you to claim CME activities you have completed, and offer recommendations for additional educational and test-preparation opportunities based on your preferences. Watch for a rollout later this spring.

Maureen Geoghegan is a marketing manager in the AAOS marketing department.

Upcoming MOC deadlines

Certificate expiration

Exam date

Deadline date

Requirement

2013, 2014, 2015

2013

5/1/2012

Application deadline for computer and oral exams

2013, 2014, 2015

2013

5/31/2012

Late application deadline for computer and oral exams; late fee applies

2013, 2014, 2015

2013

12/15/2012

Exam fee due for those taking the computer and oral examination pathways

2013, 2014, 2015

2013

12/15/2012

6-consecutive-months case list of surgical cases performed in hospitals and surgery centers during 2011–2012 due for those taking the oral examination pathway

2014, 2015, 2016

2014

12/15/2012

120 CME credits, including 20 scored and recorded SAE credits, earned in 2010–2012, for those taking either the computer or oral examination pathway

2014, 2015, 2016

2014

12/15/2012

3-consecutive-months case list (maxium of 75 cases) performed during 2012, for those taking the computer examination pathway

2019

2017, 2018, 2019

12/15/2012

120 CME credits, including 20 scored and recorded SAE credits, earned in 2010–2012, for those taking either the computer or oral examination pathways.

This is an abbreviated calendar. Diplomates should visit www.abos.org to view the specific requirements for their certificate expiration year.