These days, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) no longer requires paper documentation of credits earned from continuing medical education (CME) or from scored and recorded self-assessment examinations (SAE) as part of its maintenance of certification (MOC) process. Instead, diplomates can use their MOC dashboard (Fig. 1), an online tool that not only streamlines the steps involved in submitting CME and SAE credits, but also makes it easy to track one’s individual progress throughout the MOC process.
In this month’s column, I will provide some pointers for using the MOC dashboard, a resource available to all diplomates who log in to the ABOS website.
The dashboard, which guides diplomates through the deadlines and requirements of the MOC process, does the following for each diplomate:
- lists the beginning and end dates for the individual diplomate’s 10-year MOC process
- tracks progress made during the two 3-year reporting cycles that lead up to the recertifying examination
- provides up-to-date information on how many CME and SAE credits are recorded
- gives updates about other activities needed to fulfill all MOC requirements
- makes it easy to determine when the diplomate will be eligible to apply for the recertifying examination
Because the dashboard is available 24/7, diplomates may access their status at any time to verify information, including how many CME and SAE credits have been earned versus how many are required, and the deadline for submitting a case list, should one be required. Deadlines for all the various MOC requirements are clearly listed on the dashboard.
Transferring credits from the AAOS
Due to a coordinated effort between the ABOS and the AAOS, credits recorded in a diplomate’s online AAOS CME transcript can be pulled and used to automatically populate the CME fields in the diplomate’s ABOS dashboard.
Diplomates should note, however, that some CME credits awarded by educators other than the AAOS must still be manually entered on the ABOS website. Even so, documentation of non-AAOS credits can be uploaded electronically to the ABOS website to avoid having to mail paper documentation to the ABOS office.
To transfer credits from the AAOS to the ABOS, diplomates must first log in to the ABOS homepage (www.abos.org) and click on the “MOC” tab. Next, they should select the “CME Summary” link from the menu on the left side of the screen. They can then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Continue” button to open the “Summary of MOC Continuing Medical Education” page. At this point, they can simply click on the “Get CME Data from AAOS” button at the top of the page.
Before the transfer occurs, users have the opportunity to review their AAOS online transcript and to review the reminders from the ABOS at the top of the page. Diplomates can then click the “Import” button to transfer their CME credits directly to the ABOS’ data collection tools or the “Cancel” button to opt not to transfer the credits.
Looking to the future
Currently, only ABOS diplomates can access a customized dashboard on the ABOS website. In coming years, applicants for Part I of the certification examination as well as those who are board-eligible (meaning those who have passed the Part I certifying examination) will also be able to take advantage of a customized online dashboard.
In addition, the ABOS plans to create a mailbox within the dashboard that will contain all emails sent by ABOS to inform diplomates of upcoming critical deadlines or changes in process.
Have questions? Contact the ABOS
Diplomates with questions about the dashboard should call the ABOS at 919-929-7103 or contact Brenda Kulp, ABOS MOC Specialist, at email@example.com
Shepard R. Hurwitz, MD, is the executive director of the ABOS. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org