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Published 1/1/2013


Each month, AAOS Now explores common misconceptions about the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery’s (ABOS) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process.

MYTH: MOC isn’t worth the time and effort it requires.
“Although participating in MOC involves more work and expense than doing nothing, it is certainly worth doing—especially in today’s healthcare environment,” said ABOS Executive Director Shepard R. Hurwitz, MD.

For example, the CME requirements under MOC help ensure that participants remain knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest developments in orthopaedic treatments and patient care. Along with the self-assessment requirements and performance improvement modules, they show orthopaedists’ support for life-long learning.

As government and private payers implement new payment systems based on meeting certain quality standards, participation in MOC may become even more important. In addition, many state licensure boards require evidence of ongoing professional education and could include requirements for participation in MOC programs.

“Participating in MOC is one of the ways orthopaedic surgeons can demonstrate a concerted, conscientious effort to provide quality care,” he explained. “It shows a dedication to providing good care, communicating effectively with patients, and safeguarding and improving safety and outcomes.”

He added that “a truly dedicated group of orthopaedic surgeons at the ABOS is striving to do the right thing for the entire field of orthopaedic surgery.”

“We welcome input from all orthopaedic surgeons about the MOC process,” he added.

Use the Learning Portfolio to manage MOC
The Learning Portfolio, an AAOS member benefit, enables you to track CME credits applicable to MOC (including credits from scored and recorded self-assessment examinations [SAE]). CME credits earned through the AAOS, as well as from non-Academy providers, such as hospitals, specialty societies, and state or regional societies, can be included.

Based on your preferences and areas of interest, the Learning Portfolio enables you to find AAOS educational courses and products offering CME credits. You can choose to receive email updates regarding your CME status, and you can add CME credits earned through non-Academy providers, such as your hospital, nonparticipating specialty societies, or state and regional societies to your transcript.

Visit the Learning Portfolio at www.aaos.org/portfolio to see where you are in the 10-year MOC process and to find out which MOC deadlines relevant to your progress are approaching.

If you have questions about the Learning Portfolio, email the Academy’s member services department at member@aaos.org or call 847-384-4259, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., CST.

Register for MOC
Beginning in September 2013, your MOC participation status will be included on the American Board of Medical Specialties Certification Matters website, located at

Any AAOS members who are currently participating in the ABOS MOC program, but have not yet registered with the ABOS, should immediately register with the ABOS to ensure they will be listed online as MOC participants.

To register for MOC, visit the ABOS website at www.abos.org, and then log in and click on the “Sign up for MOC” tab. Then, follow the prompts to register as an MOC participant.

Have questions about MOC?
No matter what you hear about MOC, the ABOS is the only official source of information. If you have a question, be sure to contact the ABOS—either by phone at 919-929-7103 or online at