American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)  
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How Does Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Work?

ABMS Member Boards are responsible for setting the standards for what qualifies as competency in a particular medical specialty. Each Member Board has a board of trustees or directors, all of whom are certified in that Board?s medical specialty. Individual Member Boards evaluate physician candidates on several fronts, asking questions such as: Has the candidate completed the appropriate residency requirements? Does he or she have a valid license to practice? If a physician meets basic admission standards such as these, the board will then evaluate the candidate in written and/or practical examinations. Because specialties differ so widely, the criteria that inform these tests are quite different. What makes someone a good anesthesiologist does not necessarily make him or her a competent cardiologist.

To find out the requirements associated with a specific board, call the board directly. A listing of contact information for the ABMS Member Boards is available on this Web site.

A complete listing of all general specialty and subspecialty certificates recognized by the ABMS Member Boards is also available on this Web site.