Originally established by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process aims to uphold high standards to enhance patient care, promote ongoing physician learning, and assess clinicians’ knowledge beyond initial certification. In this way, the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) board certification and MOC serve patients, families, and the public through the continuous education and practice improvement of physicians. ABP participates in MOC through a four-part process that includes initial board certification and maintenance of certification, self-assessment, and quality improvement

Continuing education is vital to maintaining your professional standing, measuring quality of care, and advancing your knowledge. A commitment to lifelong learning helps pediatricians provide the best possible patient care.

ABP Board Certification Requirements

Applicants for ABP board certification must meet the following requirements in order to take the General Pediatrics Certifying Examination:

  • Graduation from an accredited medical school
  • Three years of postgraduate pediatric training in accredited programs, where the applicant receives general comprehensive pediatric training and takes on progressively more responsibility in each succeeding year
  • Verification of training by pediatric program directors
  • Proof of licensure: a valid, current, unrestricted license to practice medicine in one of the states, districts or territories of the United States or a province of Canada

The General Pediatrics Certifying Examination is administered annually, and the subspecialty certifying examinations are administered every two years. For information on initial exam dates and testing centers, see Taking the ABP Exam.

ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Four-Part Structure

The ABP and the 24 certifying boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) collaborated to create the maintenance of certification (MOC) process. The ABP’s four-part structure is aligned with the ABMS model of MOC.

Part 1 — Professional Standing: Pediatricians must hold a valid, unrestricted medical license.

Part 2 — Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment: Pediatricians must assess and build knowledge in practice-relevant areas through activities developed by the ABP and other organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). NEJM Knowledge+ Pediatrics Board Review also fulfills part 2 of the ABP MOC program: Pediatricians can earn ABP MOC points.

Part 3 — Cognitive Expertise/Secure Exam: Pediatricians must pass a secure examination administered at testing centers for initial certification and MOC.

Part 4 — Improving Professional Practice: Pediatricians must participate in a range of ABP-approved quality improvement (QI) projects designed to evaluate and improve quality of pediatric patient care.

Through this four-part process, the ABP MOC program assesses the six core competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for general pediatrics and pediatric subspecialties.

Pilot Program: Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics

MOCA-Peds (Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics), a pilot program launched by ABP in 2017, is a shorter, more frequent assessment of pediatric knowledge with a unique learning component available on computers and mobile devices. Registration for this pilot program, now closed, was open to physicians currently maintaining certification in general pediatrics and taking their exam in 2017.

ACGME Core Competencies: The Foundation of Maintenance of Certification

The ACGME Core Competencies are the foundation of ABP board certification and MOC. They are recognized as the standard by which all physicians must practice and have been widely accepted and implemented across all medical education training programs. The ACGME Core Competencies are defined as:

Maintaining Your ABP Board Certification: We Can Help

NEJM Knowledge+ Pediatrics Board Review is an adaptive learning program tailored to the needs of the busy pediatrician. The platform works with your schedule, adjusts to your strengths and weaknesses, and provides information that is relevant to your practice of pediatric medicine. Our program is guided by the ABP content outline to prepare you for the General Pediatrics initial and MOC exams and enables you to earn your required AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and ABP MOC points. Most important, this easy-to-use program is a solution for lifelong learning that will help you as you strive to provide optimal care for your pediatric patients.

Learn more about the features and benefits of NEJM Knowledge+ Pediatrics Board Review.