Download Maintenance of Certification FAQ brochure (PDF)
In 2001 the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) voted unanimously to expand on and replace recertification programs with Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs - more comprehensive programs to assess the ongoing competence of physician specialists and their ability to provide quality health care in six general competencies:
- Medical knowledge
- Patient care
- Interpersonal and communication skills
- Practice-based learning and improvements
- System-based practice
In the past, the certification process required successful completion of an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved nuclear medicine residency educational program, an unrestricted medical license as evidence of professional standing, and passing the certification examination. Diplomates certified since 1992 have been required to recertification every 10 years. Now nuclear medicine professionals can no longer simply take an exam to renew a certificate, instead they must participate in all of the components of MOC.
The American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) MOC program provides documentation that a nuclear medicine physician maintains the necessary competencies to provide quality patient care in nuclear medicine throughout his/her career.
MOC Components and Requirements
There are four components of MOC. To participate in maintenance of certification, nuclear medicine physicians should annually update their progress on three of the four components. In addition they must periodically pass a secure exam.
- Professional Standing: Professional standing is provided by a medical license. All medical licenses must be free of limitations on the practice of medicine and surgery.
- Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment: There should be a commitment to lifelong learning and involvement in a periodic self-assessment process to guide continuing learning. The ABNM requires each diplomate to maintain a minimum cumulative average of 25 CME credits per year, which include a minimum cumulative average of 17.5 credits related to Nuclear Medicine, which in turn include a minimum cumulative average of 8 self-assessment credits per year. The Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) has developed a rich Lifelong Learning & Self-Assessment Program (LLSAP) that allows nuclear medicine physicians to meet this component. The ABNM also accepts self-assessment modules (SAM) from any member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). To view a current list of modules available from the SNM, RSNA, and ACR, click on the following links:
- Cognitive Expertise: Cognitive expertise is measured on a secure, computer-based, psychometrically valid ABNM MOC examination (formerly the recertification exam). The MOC exam is composed of multiple choice questions on fundamental knowledge, up-to-date practice-related knowledge, and other issues such as ethics and professionalism.
- Practice Performance Assessment: Practice performance assessment (PPA) can be documented by participation in approved projects or by documenting participation in other projects. PPA projects should be chosen to assess and improve the physician’s own practice. Project areas may include medical care provided for common/major health conditions, physician behaviors, such as communication and professionalism, as they relate to patient care, and many others. ABNM documentation of participation in PPA began in 2011.
The SNM has developed a few PPA modules, and is actively developing additional modules. To view SNM MOC Part IV information and projects, click on the following link:
The ABNM will accept PPA modules that have been approved by any ABMS board. A list of PPA modules approved by the ABR can be found on the ACR website listed above. Note: The ABR calls ABMS’ PPA modules “PQI modules”.
The American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements began in 2007. ABNM requires MOC participation for its diplomates with time limited certificates issued since 1992. The ABNM expects all of its diplomates, including those with lifetime certificates, to participate in MOC programs. Participation on MOC will likely have increasing importance to state medical licensing boards, credentialing committees and payers in the future. The ABMS began publicly displaying information on whether diplomates were participating in MOC on the ABMS website (www.certificationmatters.org) in August 2011.
ABNM diplomates must pay the annual MOC fee, document that they are participating in all 4 parts of MOC. The Maintenance of Certification FAQ brochure explains the requirements in more detail and explains how to use the MyMOC portion of the website to document participation.