By Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD
The concept of lifelong learning has long been a goal for practicing dermatologists, but it took the implementation of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for lifelong learning to be built into professional development for dermatologists.
In addition to continuous education, MOC shifts emphasis away from just acquiring knowledge to proving competency. In today’s world, learning new information alone is no longer enough — you need to demonstrate that you understand how to apply the knowledge and skills in real-world situations. That’s the goal of MOC. It’s an ongoing process that reinforces key competencies dermatologists must continually master as they evolve and change over time.
MOC was also adopted as a professional response to the need for public accountability and transparency in health care. By maintaining ever-evolving high standards for performance and quality care, medicine as a whole increases the level of confidence patients, other health care professionals, employers, insurers, and government representatives have in our ability to deliver the best care possible.
The Academy is committed to providing its members with information, tools, and services that will aid in fulfilling MOC requirements.
This week, the Academy launched a new collection of MOC resources. This site will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead. It will feature educational videos, podcasts, and a library of resources to help dermatologists on their lifelong learning journeys.
The AAD’s new MOC resource center makes it easy to understand what is required during your 10-year cycle.
What are the benefits of MOC?
For you: MOC is a process that helps you continuously assess your knowledge and skills, identify areas for improvement, and make changes that result in delivery of higher-quality patient care.
For patients: MOC is an objective measure that signals to patients that you’ve reached and maintain a high level of professional achievement.
For the profession: MOC is a system that validates our ongoing commitment to keep pace with higher standards and best practices in medicine, in dermatology, and in delivery of patient care.
In 2000, the 24 member boards of American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) agreed to evolve recertification programs to one of continuous professional development — ABMS Maintenance of Certification. MOC is designed to ensure that physicians are committed to lifelong learning and competency in a specialty and/or subspecialty by requiring ongoing measurement of six core competencies.
As one of the 24 ABMS member boards, the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) administers MOC for dermatologists. MOC programs for all specialties consist of four components:
- Evidence of professional standing.
- Evidence of commitment to lifelong learning and periodic self-assessment.
- Evidence of cognitive expertise.
- Evaluation of performance in practice.
Although MOC is administered by the American Board of Dermatology, the Academy is committed to providing its members with information, tools, and services that will aid in fulfilling MOC requirements.
Dr. Kirsner is a tenured professor, vice chairman, and holds the endowed Stiefel Laboratories Chair in Dermatology in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He serves as director of the University of Miami Hospital Wound Center and chief of dermatology at the University of Miami Hospital. He also serves on the editorial boards for a number of journals in dermatology and is chair of the American Academy of Dermatology’s Council on Education and Maintenance of Certification.
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