January 19, 2016

The ABA Launches MOCA 2.0® with MOCA Minute®

Online Continuous Assessment Tool Supports Anesthesiologists in Providing Quality Care

Raleigh, N.C. (Jan. 19, 2016)  The American Board of Anesthesiology® (ABA) announced this week that its redesigned Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program® (MOCA®) and expansion of its MOCA Minute® pilot have successfully launched. Nearly 75 percent of the physicians currently registered for MOCA 2.0® have already started answering MOCA Minute questions.

“Physicians  told us they appreciate using the MOCA Minute to learn small bits of new information that help them keep their medical knowledge current,” said James P. Rathmell, M.D., secretary for the ABA. “At a time when we’re asking physicians to keep up with constantly changing clinical practices, MOCA 2.0 will help board-certified anesthesiologists enhance their knowledge so they continue to deliver high-quality patient care throughout their careers.”

The redesigned MOCA program, MOCA 2.0, leverages advances in technology and best practices in adult learning theory to help keep medical knowledge up to date. MOCA Minute, which is being piloted to replace a once-every-10-year exam, assesses physicians’ knowledge using multiple-choice questions accessed and answered at their convenience.  Physicians must answer 30 questions per quarter, or 120 per year. Upon answering questions, physicians receive the correct answer, a rationale for that answer and links to additional learning resources.  Physicians will get the same or similar questions over time to ensure that they are retaining the information they learned.

Research in adult learning has found that spacing questions out over time and asking individuals to retrieve what they learned previously is a more effective approach to addressing knowledge retrieval and retention. A 2013 study, “Brain Science Provides New Approach to Patient Safety Training,” found that in more than 16 randomized trials, physicians improved long-term knowledge retention by answering questions over spaced intervals of time. Another study of medical students, “Comparative Effects of Test-Enhanced Learning and Self-Explanation on Long-Term Retention,” showed that testing in combination with explaining the information is the most effective way to drive long-term retention of information. 

“Participation in board certification and maintenance of certification assures our patients that we are committed to lifelong learning to enhance clinical outcomes and improve patient safety,” Rathmell noted. “MOCA Minute provides physician anesthesiologists with the flexibility to engage in learning and assessment at times that are most convenient for them. Participation in MOCA 2.0 assures patients they are receiving care from anesthesiologists who are committed to meeting the highest standards of their practice.”  

Board certification is a voluntary process that many hospitals recognize as a standard that distinguishes physicians as high-quality practitioners prepared to deliver excellent care to patients. It involves a rigorous assessment that demonstrates a physician’s expertise in a medical specialty. Physicians typically pursue initial certification at the end of residency and those who successfully complete the process earn board certification.  This process is followed by maintenance of certification, which assesses whether physicians are keeping their knowledge and skills current in subsequent years. Nationally, 24 member boards, including the ABA, operate under the guidance of the American Board of Medical Specialties, which sets standards for practice excellence across multiple medical specialties. 

The Maintenance of Certification program assesses four areas: Professionalism and Professional Standing; Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment; Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills; and Improvement in Medical Practice. The ABA, which has been working on the program redesign since 2011, has worked collaboratively with volunteer anesthesiologists to conceptualize and design the framework for these assessments in MOCA 2.0.

ABA Media Contact
Michelle Taylor
Director of Marketing and Communications

About the American Board of Anesthesiology
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).