FAQs for Maintenance of Certification

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Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

Improvement in Medical Practice

General Questions


What is the intent of the ABO's Maintenance of Certification process?

The intent of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process is to provide assurance to the public and to the medical profession that certified physicians continue educational activities, keep current in information and skills, and practice in a contemporary and safe manner. The evaluation is designed to assess the knowledge, experience, and skills requisite to the delivery of high standards of patient care in ophthalmology.

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What is the MOC process?

MOC is founded on the assessment and development of six core competencies deemed integral to providing high quality patient care. Click here for more information about the MOC process.

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What is my activity schedule for completing MOC?

Diplomates who wish to maintain their Board certification should complete MOC activities within the specified timeframes during the 10-year cycle of their current certificate. Components and their required timeframes are slightly different for each group of diplomates. Please refer to the Getting Started section to determine your requirements, or log into your MOC Status Page to view your personalized schedule.

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How do I access MOC activities?

Log in with your email address and password. If you've forgotten yours, click Retrieve Login to reset your password.

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Can I participate in MOC if my certificate is not time-limited?

The ABO believes in the value of MOC and encourages all diplomates to participate. Non time-limited certificates are not affected by participation in MOC. Voluntary participation signifies a commitment to lifelong learning and continuous improvement and is rewarded with an additional ABO certificate, valid for 10 years. Click here to learn more about MOC for non time-limited certificate holders. Note: Since 2001, it has been ABO policy that all Board Directors participate in MOC.

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Will my certificate expire earlier if I complete the renewal process before it expires?

No. Requirements for certificate renewal can be achieved before or after the expiration date of the time-limited certificate; renewal is for ten years from the expiration of the previous certificate or ten years from the date of completion of the requirements, whichever is later.

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Why do I have to recertify and my colleagues do not?

The ABO recognizes the disparity between those diplomates who hold non time-limited certificates and those who must recertify every 10 years. Prior to 1992, the board issued certificates that did not have an expiration date and is legally constrained from imposing one now. The ABO believes in the value of Maintenance of Certification for all diplomates and strongly encourages everyone to participate. Today, only time-limited certificates are issued by the 24 primary or conjoint boards of the ABMS.

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Continuing Medical Education (CME)

What kinds of CME credits will meet requirements for MOC?

The Board accepts only AMA PRA Category 1 CME™ obtained from Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)-approved organizations. For diplomates in Track 2, the Board also requires participation in activities that qualify as self-assessment.

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How do I attest to completion of CME? Do I need to submit my credits?

Use the link on your MOC Status Page to attest to meeting the requirements for CME.The optional CME Tracking Tool may be used to keep track of your CME credits at any time during the 10-year MOC cycle, but submission of these details is not required.

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Will the ABO audit my CME attestation?

The ABO does not require individual CME certificates; however, the Board reserves the right to verify completion of CME by asking for documentation.

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Improvement in Medical Practice Activities

What are my options for completing the Improvement in Medical Practice component of MOC?

The American Board of Ophthalmology offers a menu of options for completing an improvement activity.

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What if I am no longer seeing patients?

Diplomates who are no longer in active practice must attest to being clinically inactive.

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What does it meant to Create Your Own Improvement in Medical Practice Project?

It is an opportunity for diplomates to develop a clinical or non-clinical improvement project to satisfy MOC requirements based on a standard quality improvement methodology.

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What do I have to do to submit a project?

The submission form is accessible from the MOC Status Page. Using this form, you will complete an application process involving the submission of a project description for ABO review.

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How will I know if my project application is approved?

First, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application. As the ABO reviews your project, we may request more information about your project proposal. Finally, we will notify you that your application has been approved or that revisions are needed.

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 General Questions

How do I change my address with the ABO?

If you would like to change your address with the ABO, you may login to your MOC Status Page and click "Update Profile Information" to provide your current contact information.

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How does a doctor obtain his/her own status letter?

Certified physicians or active candidates may request a status letter by contacting the Board Office.

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How do I get another certificate? How much does it cost?

Additional certificates may be ordered online by logging in to your MOC Status Page and completing the online order form. Before ordering, please ensure that your mailing address is current and up-to-date. Additional certificates cost $30 each.

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What is the certificate number to put on the forms I am filling out?

The American Board of Ophthalmology does not issue certificate numbers.

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Can I pay for the Board examinations with a credit card?

The ABO accepts Visa and MasterCard as payment for all Board fees.

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When will I get my examination results?

Results for the Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) examination will be mailed in 6-8 weeks.

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How can I change my name with the ABO?

If you would like to change your name with the ABO, please submit legal documentation of your name change (i.e. marriage license, divorce decree, legal name change document) to the Board Office.

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Why do I need to add the ABO domain to my Email's Safe Senders List?

The ABO uses email to communicate in a timely and efficient manner. However, because email systems are different, communication via email can be interrupted by security settings and spam-blocking features. The cause of blocked mail can be dependent on the organization, internet service provider (ISP), email program, security programs and spam-blocking tools. The ABO encourages all users to place the ABO domain (@abop.org) on a "safe sender" list in order to enable receipt of ABO email correspondence.

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How can I add a domain to my Email's Safe Senders List?

Due to the vast number of different email programs available, the ABO does not have specific instructions for each; however, the ABO does suggest the following two methods:

  1. Contact your ISP and ask that email from the ABO be accepted;
  2. View options of the security setting and spam-blocking tools on your email program to determine if you can "whitelist" the ABO yourself. For example, the Microsoft Outlook Email Program will allow you to add a specific email address or a specific email domain (@abop.org) to a Safe Senders List. (To do this in Microsoft Outlook: highlight the email; click on Actions on the toolbar; click on Junk Email; click on Add Sender to Safe Senders List or Add Senders Domain (@abop.org) to Safe Senders List).
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