About MOC, ABMS National Program, Board Listing

ABMS and specialty boards

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) assists 24 medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification. Specialty boards certify physicians who have met specific requirements for practice in the specialty.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Historically, most specialty boards provided one-time, "life-long" certification. With the practice of medicine evolving more rapidly, the 24 medical specialty boards agreed to move toward issuing time-limited certification. Physicians are now expected to meet a series of requirements set by their specialty board(s).

The Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs of all 24 specialty boards have the same four general requirements:

  • Part I. Professionalism and Professional Standing (including holding a valid, unrestricted medical license)
  • Part II. Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment - educational activities, including self-assessment of knowledge
  • Part III. Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills (primarily re-certification exam)
  • Part IV. Improvement in Medical Practice - participate in assessing and improving health care

Specific requirements of individual boards vary

Individual boards continue to evolve their requirements, options and timelines. Therefore, physicians starting the recertification process in a specialty in one year may have specific requirements that differ from requirements applying to physicians starting the recertification process in earlier or subsequent years. Physicians participating in a specialty board’s MOC program must check the requirements that currently apply to them by logging onto their personal account on the website of the board.

ABMS National Program and Board listing

The Multi-Specialty Portfolio Approval Program Organization:

  • Supports the ABMS Member Board community by setting standards for, identifying, creating opportunities for, and evaluating meaningful physician participation in organizational quality, safety, improvement, and CPD activities for continuous certification.
  • Exemplifies collaboration, shared learning, innovation and improvement among the ABMS, ABMS Member Boards, health care organizations and medical professionals in pursuit of continuous certification and improved health of the public.
  • Affords health care organizations the opportunity to support and encourage physician involvement in internal quality improvement (QI) projects and initiatives while simultaneously supporting MOC for physicians across multiple ABMS specialties. The Portfolio Program is designed for organizations that develop and oversee the implementation of multiple physician-related quality improvement (QI) efforts. Organizations that are approved as a Portfolio Sponsor are committed to supporting physician involvement in quality improvement, improving patient care, and supporting physician participation in MOC.

Complete information about the National Program is available on the Portfolio Program website. A summary is provided below.

Participating Boards

Currently participating in the Multi-specialty Part IV MOC Program are the American Boards of:

In addition to the common requirements under the Program, each board offers other options for physicians to engage in activities that provide Part IV credit.