Our Timeline

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

    1937

    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.

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    1938

    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.

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    1941

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

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    1977

    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.

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    1985

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

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    1989

    We notify the ABMS of our intent to offer subspecialty certification in pain management and have subsequent discussions with other ABMS member boards with an interest in this subspecialty.

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    1991

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

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    1995

    We approve 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.

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

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    1996

    ABMS approves our proposal for recertification in anesthesiology at its March 21 meeting.

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    1998

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

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    2002

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

    We present our 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).

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    2005

    We administer our first annual MOCA Exam in July. In 2007, we begin offering the MOCA Exam two times each year.

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    2009

    We phase out our 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.

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    2010

    We begin 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.

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    2011

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

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    2012

    ABMS approves our time-limited pediatric anesthesiology subspecialty certificate.

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    2013

    We expand our 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.

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    2014

    We transition 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, we host our final hotel-based Part 2 Examination in Chicago after 73 years of administering it in hotels throughout the country.

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    2015

    We offer 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.

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    2016

    We launch 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).

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    2017

    MOCA 2.0 expands to include diplomates with current subspecialty certification.

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    2018

    ABMS approved our request to transition our MOCA Minute pilot to a permanent component of the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology™ (MOCA®) program. The innovative longitudinal assessment has been widely embraced by anesthesiologists and has proven to be a robust evaluation tool for determining if they are maintaining their medical knowledge over time.