The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Maintenance of Certification® (MOC) is a professional development program for physicians who are certified by one of the 24 ABMS Member Boards. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is a member of the ABMS. The MOC program standards are set by ABMS and independently implemented by the Member Boards. MOC promotes continuous lifelong learning and self assessment to better meet patient, provider and payer expectations for quality care.
According to the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc.:
When the process of certification began, diplomates were awarded certificates that were not time-limited, and therefore did not have to be renewed. In recognition of the pace of change in medical knowledge, certificates awarded by the ABPS since 1995 are time-limited, and are valid for ten years. During this 10-year period, the diplomate must demonstrate maintenance of certification through a process of continuing education in the specialty, demonstration of professional credentials such as hospital privileges, review and evaluation of practice performance and further examination. Diplomates whose certificates are not time-limited are encouraged to electively participate in the MOC-PS program.
Certification indicates that the specialty board determined, based on the criteria then in effect, that the diplomate possessed the education, training, experience and knowledge required to be a specialist at the time the certificate was awarded. To give continuity to this process, the Maintenance of Certification Program (MOC-PS) is designed to assist diplomates to maintain their knowledge and skills through continuing education and documented experience during the period between examinations.