ABOG Begins Innovative Pilot Program to Enhance Maintenance of Certification Process

Patients and Physicians Will Benefit from New Program

Dec 09, 2015, 10:39 ET from The American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG)

DALLAS, Dec. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG) will begin a pilot program in 2016 that will enhance and streamline its current Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. The ABOG pilot proposes to integrate the self-assessment and external assessment MOC requirements to allow diplomates to continuously demonstrate their knowledge of the specialty. 

The pilot proposes to allow diplomates to earn an exemption from the current computer-based MOC examination in the sixth year of the program if they reach a threshold of performance during the first five years of the self-assessment program.

The ABOG Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA) MOC requirement is focused on maintaining knowledge of new and important advancements in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Healthcare. The program requires that all specialists and subspecialists participate in reading recent articles and answering online self-assessments of knowledge about the content. In a typical MOC year, a Specialist will read 30 articles and answer four questions about each article.  Over a six-year MOC cycle, a Specialist will read 165 new articles and answer 660 relevant questions. In addition, each diplomate must complete a Patient Safety and Communications course that is accompanied by 60 questions.

The ABOG MOC Examination is offered in the last year of each doctor's 6-year MOC cycle.  The secure, external assessment is in a modular test format that allows physicians to choose two selectives that are most relevant to their current practice. 

"These proposed changes maintain a rigorous and relevant continuous professional development process that is critical to providing the high quality patient care," said Larry Gilstrap, III, MD Executive Director.  "The pilot puts additional emphasis on the diplomate's demonstration of knowledge throughout the entire program. It allows those who demonstrate this achievement through study and self-assessment testing to earn exemption from the current computer-based MOC examination."

"These changes were made with input from annual surveys of ABOG diplomates in MOC, the Board of Directors and ABOG professional staff," said George Wendel, Jr., MD Director of MOC. "A goal of the MOC program is to foster lifelong learning and continuous professional development to enhance patient health care and improve outcomes.  ABOG believes that the MOC standards help to assure that diplomates are maintaining a high level of current medical knowledge and are applying that information in their practices."

The ABOG MOC program is a continuous certification process. That is, physicians must meet MOC requirements annually to maintain their certification. The ABOG will study the pilot in 2016 and 2017 and make a decision about applying to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to permanently adopt the changes to its MOC program in 2018.

About the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States.  Founded in 1927, the ABOG is one of 24 specialty Boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  The ABOG examines and certifies more than 1,700 obstetricians and gynecologists and subspecialists in Maternal-fetal Medicine, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Gynecologic Oncology and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery each year.  Additionally, more than 30,000 physicians are participating in ABOG maintenance of certification programs.


SOURCE The American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG)