ABA MOCA® survey provides feedback


ABA Media Contact:
Michele Pore
(919) 745-2283


Raleigh, N.C. (Aug. 21, 2014) – The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) recently invited more than 29,000 diplomates to participate in a Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program® (MOCA®) survey to gain a better understanding of perceptions about the program and what should be done to improve it. The survey results will be one of several tools that inform a MOCA redesign intended to ensure the program remains relevant for diplomates.

All diplomates with a valid email address were invited to participate in the survey, which ultimately had a 28 percent response rate (8,141 respondents). Seventy-two percent of respondents are participating in MOCA and 28 percent are not, but nearly everyone reported they are familiar with what the MOCA program involves.

A majority of survey respondents who participate in MOCA said they do so to fulfill a job requirement, maintain high standards and keep up with changing practices. More than half of respondents who are not participating in MOCA cite cost and time commitment as two main barriers.

Most MOCA participants reported that they believe the Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (Part 2) component is the most useful part of the program. A majority of MOCA participants reported the most challenging components of the program include the Cognitive Examination (Part 3) and the Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement (Part 4) components, which include an exam (Part 3) and a case evaluation, a simulation education course and an attestation of clinical activity (Part 4).

A majority of MOCA participants reported that they favor having a series of evaluation questions that accompany educational modules throughout the 10-year cycle versus the decennial cognitive exam.

In response to similar feedback the ABA previously received, the Board launched the MOCA Minute® pilot earlier this year to test an interactive learning tool. The ABA emailed pilot participants one question per week related to the exam content, and subsequently supplied the correct answer, rationale and a link to additional resource materials.

One goal of this pilot is to determine whether this model of learning is more effective than traditional forms of self-guided learning in improving diplomate knowledge. The results of the pilot will be available this fall.

“Ultimately, making MOCA more relevant will benefit our diplomates and improve patient care,” said J. Jeffrey Andrews, M.D. Secretary of the ABA. “We are committed to the redesign effort and appreciate diplomate feedback, which we believe can ensure that the program meets our diplomates’ needs and the standards set by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).”

ABMS developed Maintenance of Certification (MOC) in 1999 to ensure that board-certified physicians maintained their knowledge and skills throughout their careers, and to assure the public that physicians retained their qualifications. In 2000, all 24 ABMS member boards, including the ABA, committed to develop MOC programs.

The ABA’s current MOCA program is based on 10-year cycles and includes an assessment of Professional Standing (medical licensure), Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment, a decennial exam of Cognitive Expertise and periodic evaluations of Practice Performance. It is designed to document diplomates’ proficiency in the six core competencies: medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, and systems-based practice.

To share recommendations for improving the MOCA program, visit Feedback on MOCA to submit ideas.

About the ABA

The mission of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) is to advance the highest standards of the practice of anesthesiology. As the certifying body for anesthesiologists since 1938, the ABA is committed to partnering with physicians to advance lifelong learning and exceptional patient care. The Board administers primary and subspecialty certification exams as well as the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program® (MOCA®), which is designed to promote lifelong learning, a commitment to quality clinical outcomes and patient safety. Based in Raleigh, N.C., the ABA is a nonprofit organization and a member board of the American Board of Medical Subspecialties (ABMS).