Fellows Survival Guide

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

It doesn’t stop there! You will need to continuously engage in learning to maintain your certification. MOC categories are detailed in the ABP website. There are 4 Parts to Maintaining Certification. 

  • Part 1 is Professional Standing
  • Part 2 is Self-Assessment
  • Part 3 is an exam
  • Part 4 is Quality Improvement

Briefly, every MOC cycle (5 years), you need to acquire 40 credits in Part 2, 40 credits in part 4, and 20 additional credits in Part 2 or 4, pay a fee, and complete one of two examination pathways. You have credit by being in a training program (10 part 2 and 10 part 4 points per year), and these points will be added in to your “bank” at the point you graduate fellowship. This is a new process that is likely to change in the future, so remain up to date on MOC requirements.

Part 2 credits are activities that help you assess and improve your medical knowledge. Those are obtained from any activity that generates CME and involves self-assessment, such as doing ABP Self-Assessment and PREP questions. You can find opportunities for other approved activities when you login to your ABP portfolio.

Part 4 credits are acquired through participation in ABP-approved quality improvement (QI) projects. Part 4 credits can be more difficult to collect than Part 2 credits, therefore start thinking about this early on.  You may find activities within your institutions to be involved in, if your institution is a MOC portfolio sponsor, or you may elect to do QI projects through the AAP (such as EQIPP), or the ABP.

The ABP will also credit you if you have a publication (whether in a peer-reviewed journal or in a national meeting) describing the implementation and outcomes of a QI project. The ABP also provides a path to award credit for single or group QI initiatives that are “structured, well-designed QI projects that are based on accepted improvement science and methodology.” If you are interested in creating or working on a QI project with other physicians, you may apply to get credit from the ABP for your work after a short application and a small fee.

Exam cycles are every 5 years as well and there are currently two pathways. Taking the traditional, proctored exam every 10 years remains an option for those that wish, for an additional fee. Beginning in 2019, the default assessment platform is the online Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics (MOCA-Peds). This consists of up to 20 timed, multiple-choice questions every quarter that can be answered at your convenience.

Achieving Balance 
Many of the challenges that new faculty face is related to the competing demands of our careers and personal lives. Recognizing the tensions resulting from changing professional and personal responsibilities and developing realistic expectations are important first steps in successfully navigating the early phases of your career. Recognizing and seeking the advice of good mentors and departmental leaders and utilizing institutional resources that promote resilience can help you to develop healthy ways to deal with stress and avoid burnout.

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