American Board of Radiology: Maintenance of certification

John E. Madewell, Roben R. Hattery, Stephen R. Thomas, Larry E. Kun, Gary J. Becker, Christopher Merritt, Lawrence W. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Maintenance of Certification (MOC) recognizes that in addition to medical knowledge, several essential elements involved in delivering quality care must be developed and maintained throughout one's career. The MOC process is designed to facilitate and document the professional development of each American Board of Radiology (ABR) diplomate through its focus on the essential elements of quality care in Diagnostic Radiology, its subspecialties, Radiation Oncology, and Radiologic Physics. The initial elements of the ABR MOC program have been developed in accord with guidelines of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Further details will be developed as the process evolves. MOC and Certification: All diplomates with 10-year, time-limited primary or subspecialty certificates who wish to maintain certification must successfully complete the requirements of the appropriate ABR MOC program for their specialty or subspecialty. Subspecialists will be required to maintain primary certification in order to retain subspecialty certification. Holders of multiple certificates must meet ABR MOC requirements specific to the certificates held. Diplomates with lifelong certificates are not required to participate in the MOC, but are strongly encouraged to do so. MOC Components, Competencies, and Requirements: MOC is based on documentation of individual participation in the four components of MOC: (a) professional standing, (b) lifelong learning and self-assessment, (c) cognitive expertise, and (d) performance in practice. Within these components, MOC will address six competencies - medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. Professional Standing: For Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Oncology diplomates, documentation of professional standing is based on continuous possession of valid, unrestricted licenses to practice medicine in all states in which the physician is licensed. For Radiologic Physics diplomates, documentation of professional standing is based on attestation letters, documentation of licensure, or other regulatory agency certification for the practice of medical physics (when applicable), and documentation of expertise-based appointments or recognition. Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment: Lifelong learning is critical to ensure that new information and knowledge are incorporated into clinical practice. ABR views this as a highly important component of MOC. Requirements for individual diplomates will vary, depending on the type and number of time-limited primary and subspecialty certificates held, and will include a combination of approved continuing medical education (CME) and self-assessment activities. Diagnostic Radiology. - Five hundred approved CME credit hours (at least 250 hours in Category 1) are required over a 10-year cycle, of which at least 70% must be in specialty-specific or related areas. Self-assessment will be accomplished through completion of a minimum of 20 self-assessment modules (SAMs) over the 10-year MOC cycle. SAMs must be accepted by the ABR and will consist of instructional content followed by multiple-choice questions, with feedback to the diplomate. Four of the 20 SAMs will address general content as accepted by the ABR. Radiation Oncology. - Five hundred CME credit hours are required over the 10-year cycle, at least 250 of which must be in Category 1. Of the 500 hours, 400 hours (including 200 Category 1 hour) must be related to radiation therapy or oncology. The periodic self-assessment requirement may be satisfied by participation in the equivalent of eight approved educational venues and by successfully passing an automated self-assessment program that covers the respective educational materials. Radiologic Physics. - Depending on the number of certificates held, from 500 to 700 hours of CME are required over a 10-year cycle, a portion of which may be attained through participation in self-directed educational projects (SDEPs). Cognitive Expertise: Cognitive expertise will be evaluated through a proctored, computer-based examination. In general, the examinations will be tailored to individual practice patterns. Requirements of individual diplomates will vary, depending on the type and number of time-limited primary and subspecialty certificates held. Examination content for Diagnostic Radiology will be related to material the diplomate has previously reviewed as a part of that diplomate's selected lifelong learning and self-assessment program. For Radiation Oncology, the examination will cover 13 designated content areas. The Radiologic Physics examination content will be drawn from two areas: fundamental core knowledge and current evolving technologies. The intent of the examinations is to reinforce the process of individual lifelong learning rather than to serve as recertification examinations. Assessment of Performance in Practice: Practice performance will focus on practice improvement and will offer diplomates a choice of ways in which to meet the component. ABR practice performance plans are not finalized, and ABMS approval is not expected until 2005 or early 2006.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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