ABA Timeline

    Image courtesy of the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology, Schaumburg, Illinois.


    A committee representing the American Society of Anesthetists, Inc., the American Society of Regional Anesthesia, Inc., and the Section on Surgery of the American Medical Association was established to devise a plan for an organization that would certify physicians practicing in the field of anesthesiology.

    On June 2, 1937, The American Board of Anesthesiology, Inc. (ABA), was formed as an affiliate of The American Board of Surgery, Inc.



    The Advisory Board for Medical Specialties and the Council on Medical Education of The American Medical Association approves the ABA as an affiliate of The American Board of Surgery.



    The Advisory Board for Medical Specialties approves the establishment of the ABA as a separate primary Board.



    The Society of Critical Care Medicine approaches the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to discuss official recognition for physicians with expertise in critical care medicine. In response, the ABA and three other member boards begin exploring mechanisms for awarding such recognition.



    On March 21, the ABMS votes to permit the ABA and several other member boards to issue certificates in critical care medicine.



    The ABA notifies the ABMS of its intent to sub certify in pain management and has subsequent discussions with other ABMS member boards with an interest in this subspecialty.



    ABMS approves the ABA pain management application at its March meeting with the condition that the subspecialty certificate be time-limited. On Sept. 26, ABMS votes to permit the ABA to issue certificates in pain management that would be valid for 10 years.



    The ABA approves a policy of time-limited certification so that all certificates issued on or after Jan. 1, 2000 be valid for 10 years after the candidate passes the certifying exam.

    The ABA office re-locates from Hartford, Conn. to Raleigh, N.C.



    ABMS approves the ABA’s proposal for recertification in anesthesiology at its March 21 meeting.



    ABMS approves the proposals for recertification in critical care medicine and pain management at its Sept. 17 meeting.



    In March, ABMS approves changing the name of the subspecialty to Pain Medicine.

    The ABA presents its proposal for the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program® (MOCA®) to ABMS, and the transition from the recertification program to MOCA begins two years later (in 2004).



    The ABA administers its first annual MOCA Exam in July. In 2007, the ABA begins offering the MOCA Exam two times each year.



    The ABA phases out its voluntary recertification program with the administration of the December exam, and the MOCA Examination becomes the only voluntary recertification option for primary certification for diplomates certified before 2000.

    The Board brings the question development and administration processes for all exams in-house.

    In August, the Board approves the transition to a staged exams process (BASIC, ADVANCED and APPLIED Examinations) to encourage more sustained studying during training and to complement the movement of the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to competency based training and promotion.

    Later that year, the American Board of Pediatrics and the ABA announce a combined, integrated training program in pediatrics and anesthesiology that will require five, not six, years of training for physicians to be fully qualified and certified in both specialties.



    The ABA begins transitioning from subspecialty recertification to MOCA for Subspecialties (MOCA-SUBS) in January. The last subspecialty recertification exam will be administrated in 2016 and the first MOCA-SUBS examination will be administered in 2017.



    In December, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABA announce a combined, integrated training program in internal medicine and anesthesiology. ABMS approves ABA’s application for Sleep Medicine. These subspecialty certificates are time-limited.



    ABMS approves the ABA’s time-limited pediatric anesthesiology subspecialty certificate.



    The ABA expands its Raleigh, N.C.-based office space from 13,500 square feet to 32,500 square feet in April to support its growing portfolio of assessments. The staff office and new Assessment Center occupy the 15th floor of the building.



    The ABA transitions to staged exams in July with the first BASIC Examination administration.

    Construction begins on the new Assessment Center in Raleigh, N.C., which will house the Part 2 and APPLIED Examinations.

    In October, the ABA hosts its final hotel-based Part 2 Examination in Chicago after 73 years of administering it in hotels throughout the country.



    The ABA offers nine Part 2 Examinations at the new Assessment Center.

    Candidates can watch the video above to learn more about the new Part 2 Examination process and logistics.



    The ABA launches the redesigned Maintenance of certification in Anesthesiology Program (MOCA), known as MOCA 2.0®, on Jan. 4. The MOCA Minute® pilot also launched, replacing the MOCA Exam as the MOCA Part 3: Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills (formerly the Cognitive Examination).