About the ABMS MOC Program

About the ABMS MOC Program

Administered by our Member Boards, the ABMS Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program is a four-part process that focuses on the development of six core competencies that were adopted by ABMS and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 1999. The ABMS MOC program focuses on life-long learning by doctors who demonstrate that they are keeping pace with the latest advances in their specialty.

The process includes:

Part I - Licensure and Professional Standing
Doctors must hold and maintain a valid, unrestricted medical license in at least one state or jurisdiction in the United States, its territories or Canada.

Part II - Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
Doctors must regularly participate in educational and self-assessment activities that meet specialtyspecific standards set by their individual Member Boards. Examples include Continuing Medical Education (CME) such as reviewing journal articles, attending classes, participating in conferences or taking online tests.

Part III - Cognitive Expertise
By passing a written examination, commonly known as "passing the boards," doctors must demonstrate that they have the up-to-date knowledge they need to provide quality care in their specific specialties.

Part IV- Practice Performance Assessment
Doctors are periodically evaluated regarding the care they provide, through surveys of their patients and their fellow doctors and health care providers. After comparing the quality of care they provide to that of guideline standards, doctors must identify and apply strategies to further improve the care they provide.

1. Professionalism 
Doctors must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles.

2. Patient Care and Procedural Skills 
Doctors must be able to provide patient care, including the safe and effective use of procedures, that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

3. Medical Knowledge
Doctors must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.

4. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
Doctors must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and lifelong learning.

5. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Doctors must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and health professionals.

6. Systems-Based Practice
Doctors must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care.