How can I prepare for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in 2014?


Q: How can I prepare for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in 2014?

A: As 2013 winds down, be sure you have all the information you need for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) next year. The Academy offers MOC tools in this resource center on

New to the resource center is a video of Terry Cronin, MD, editor in chief of Dialogues in Dermatology, as he interviews Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD, chair of the Academy’s Council on Education and Maintenance of Certification. Dr. Kirsner addresses questions that members often ask about how MOC helps improve quality patient care and patient safety.

In addition, learn more about the MOC process by reviewing these frequently asked questions (FAQs).

What is Maintenance of Certification?

In 2000, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the 24 medical specialty boards it represents adopted Maintenance of Certification as the new standard for recertification of specialty physicians, including dermatologists. MOC places emphasis on lifelong learning and professional development to ensure that physicians deliver the highest quality patient care throughout their careers. Instead of focusing on acquired knowledge alone, MOC stresses  continuous improvement around six core competencies: patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning, systems-based practice, professionalism and interpersonal and communications skills. The requirements for professional development center around a 10-year cycle of activities, ending with a recertification exam.

Do I have to participate in MOC?

All dermatology diplomates whose certification expired in 2006 or any subsequent year must complete MOC to achieve recertification. While participation is optional, if you choose not to participate your non-certified status will be accessible to the public through the ABMS website. Lack of participation in MOC may also exclude you from incentive payment programs, such as the PQRS MOC incentive provided by CMS.

What evidence is there that MOC is improving quality of care?

Considerable research is underway across all 24 medical specialties to provide credible validation that MOC helps improve quality of care. While still in the early stages, ABMS maintains an evidence library containing articles and reports on research outcomes related to MOC effectiveness. Access the ABMS Evidence Library.

How do I benefit from MOC?

MOC is a process that helps you continuously assess your knowledge and skills, identify areas for improvement and make meaningful changes that result in delivery of higher quality patient care throughout your career. In other words, MOC is a system that helps you keep getting better at your chosen profession.

How do my patients benefit from MOC?

MOC is an objective measure that signals to patients that you’ve reached and maintain a high level of professional achievement.


How does the dermatology profession benefit from MOC?

MOC is proven system that validates dermatology’s ongoing commitment to keep pace with higher standards and best practices in medicine, in our specialty and in the delivery of high quality patient care.

What support and resources does AAD offer for MOC?

AAD offers a number of high-quality resources that dermatologists can use to complete their MOC requirements for continuing medical education credits, the patient safety module, self-assessment questions and practice assessment/quality improvement as well as a review course to help you prepare for the recertification examination. You can learn more about these resources by clicking here. Additionally, you can track your progress using AAD resources on the AAD Educational Portal.

Where do I turn to find other resources I can use to fulfill my MOC requirements?

To find out about other resources that satisfy MOC requirements for dermatology, go to the resources page on the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) website.


Where do I turn to learn more details about MOC policies and requirements?

Maintenance of Certification for dermatology is administered and managed by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). They have a dedicated website about MOC containing information about all policies and requirements as well as a system for reporting on your progress. Learn more at the ABD’s MOC website.

I’m in a dermatology subspecialty. Are there any special requirements for me?

There are some specific resources and requirements for dermatology subspecialties. To learn more about them, go the American Board of Dermatology website.

What does MOC cost?

According to the American Board of Medical Specialties, fees charged for annual enrollment and the recertification examination by its 24 represented medical specialty boards are, on average, approximately $300 per year. For dermatologists, the average fee for annual enrollment and the recertification examination is $240. Review a breakdown of all costs to dermatologists