Board Eligibility and Display of MOC Status

Board Eligibility and Display of MOC Status

As a credentialing professional, gathering information about a physician’s training, certification, and experience is an important part of your work in building a professional summary to assess qualifications. This page provides information about key components of the ABMS Member Board certification process. See more on the ABMS MOC Overview and FAQs[PDF].

Definition of Board Eligible

ABMS defines "board eligibility" as the period of time between when a physician completes an accredited residency program and when initial certification in a specialty is achieved. The ABMS Board Eligibility Policy for Specialty Certification and the ABMS Eligibility Policy for Subspecialty Certification recognize physicians’ need to use the term "board eligible" as a way to signal their preparations for specialty and subspecialty certification. At the same time, it closes off the potential for abuse through use of the term indefinitely.

When a physician does not achieve initial certification within the board eligibility period, that physician must cease from representing him/herself as being board eligible. The physician must again complete all requirements of the specialty board before being allowed to take the certification examination.

The establishment of these policies tightens the connection between training and certification. Research has shown repeatedly that physicians lose knowledge and skills as the years pass after their training.The requirements of the ABMS MOC program address this problem through continuous professional development. The policies limit the time that can elapse before physicians are certified and therefore participating in MOC.

Display of MOC Status

ABMS displays MOC status in its physician profiles to provide the public, the credentialing community, and other professional organizations information that reflects the continuous nature of the certification process.

A physician’s certifying board determines whether or not he or she is meeting its MOC requirements. This information is recognized as an important indicator of a physician’s engagement with the standards of their specialty to provide safe, quality medical care.