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News Release: Additional ABMS Member Boards Drop End Dates: Emphasize Continuous Involvement in Maintenance of Certification

ABMS Media Contact: Lori Boukas

FAQs – MOC No End Dates


CHICAGO – August 9, 2012 – The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announced that three additional Member Boards are emphasizing continuous involvement in their respective Maintenance of Certification programs. Ongoing certification with each Member Board is contingent upon meeting the Maintenance of Certification requirements for the specific Member Board, which are part of the ABMS Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program. As a result, each of the three Member Boards listed below have eliminated specific “end dates” for their participating Board Certified physicians. The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) and American Board of Radiology (ABR) have joined the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) in emphasizing the continuous nature of the ABMS MOC program.

“A robust and comprehensive Maintenance of Certification program is a powerful and valuable tool for physicians to demonstrate commitment and leadership to improve the quality and safety of health care,” said Gary J. Becker, MD, ABR Executive Director.

Piloted by ABP during 2010, this approach supports better care through physician participation in the rigorous ABMS MOC process, which continually assesses and helps enhance a physician’s medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, clinical care and communication skills. “Research shows that, in general, over time, knowledge deteriorates and practice habits and patterns fail to change in response to medical advances. Physicians participating in lifelong learning demonstrate their focus on constant improvement efforts and staying current in their medical practices,” stated James C. Puffer, MD, ABFM President and Chief Executive Officer.

For ABFM Board Certified family physicians entering Maintenance of Certification in 2012 or later and for physicians initially Board Certified by ABPN or ABR in 2012 or later, maintaining certification is contingent upon their meeting the requirements for the specific Member Board’s MOC program, and therefore no specific end date to certification will be provided. To maintain certification by ABFM, ABPN or ABR, their respective physicians must successfully complete specialty-specific requirements throughout their ongoing MOC cycles. Regarding physicians Board Certified earlier than 2012, implementation details will be determined by each Member Board.

“Board Certified physicians, through their participation in lifelong learning, engage in an active process in order to meet the higher standards set by their boards and expected by the broader health care community,” said Larry R. Faulkner, MD, ABPN President and Chief Executive Officer.

Credentialers have long looked to Board Certification by an ABMS Member Board as an important quality marker, and the MOC program is being incorporated into that process. For credentialers who need an end date to complete primary source verification, the individual Member Boards will provide an annual reverification date to ensure accurate certification status. For information regarding these Member Board dates as well as other implementation details, visit the ABMS Summary Table: MOC – No End Dates

“The adoption of this policy by a growing number of Member Boards aligns with the ABMS commitment to public accountability and the MOC emphasis on lifelong learning and assessment,” said Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer. “For the credentialing community, each Member Board’s specific annual reverification date will serve as a reminder to verify physicians’ credentials.”

To keep pace with continuous advances in the medical field, ABMS and its 24 Member Boards developed the ABMS MOC program, an assessment of physicians based on six core competencies: professionalism, patient care and procedural skills, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, and systems-based practice. Competencies are assessed by a four-part process: licensure and professional standing, lifelong learning and self assessment, cognitive expertise and practice performance assessment.


About ABMS
For more than 75 years, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has been the medical organization overseeing physician certification in the United States. It assists its 24 Member Boards in their efforts to develop and implement educational and professional standards for the evaluation and certification of physician specialists. ABMS Member Boards provide physician certification information to ABMS for its certification verification service programs. ABMS is recognized by the key health care credentialing accreditation entities as a primary equivalent source of Board Certification data for medical specialists. Patients can visit or call toll-free (866) ASK-ABMS to see if their physician is Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board. For more information about ABMS, visit or call (312) 436-2600.

The 24 Member Boards that comprise the ABMS Board Enterprise and certify nearly 800,000 physicians include the: American Board of Allergy and Immunology, American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Emergency Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Genetics, American Board of Neurological Surgery, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Ophthalmology, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Pathology, American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Preventive Medicine, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, American Board of Radiology, American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery and American Board of Urology.