Understand Maintenance of Certification: Professional Standing

November 12, 2008

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This is the second in a series of articles on the requirements of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) for Maintenance of Certification and how they affect neurologists. Subsequent articles will focus on the other components of the MOC program and highlight AAN programs and resources available to help support neurologists through the process.

What is Maintenance of Certification?

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is an initiative of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) aimed at insuring that physician specialists offer quality patient care through an ongoing process of self-improvement. MOC was mandated by the ABMS to replace the recertification process.

All certificates issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) after October 1, 1994, are 10-year, time-limited certificates and expire on December 31, 10 years from the year of the examination. Diplomates who are not recertified before their certificates expire are no longer Board certified in that area.

MOC is an ongoing process through which a diplomate's credentials, licensure, and professional standing are verified and his or her knowledge and practice performance are evaluated. MOC is comprised of four components:

  • Evidence of Professional Standing
  • Evidence of Self-Assessment and Lifelong Learning
  • Evidence of Cognitive Expertise
  • Evidence of Performance in Practice

What does the ABPN's Professional Standing component entail?

Professional Standing is perhaps the most uncomplicated of the four MOC components since it is a standard requirement of all physicians. To provide evidence of professional standing, neurologists must hold a current medical license(s) to practice medicine in at least one state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States or province of Canada. All medical licenses must be unrestricted.

Find out more about Professional Standing. The ABPN is the official source for up-to-date information regarding MOC requirements, which are subject to change. Visit the ABPN website frequently for current information and contact the ABPN directly if you have specific questions regarding your certification.