February 24, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE – Waiving MOCA Requirements for 2020

Diplomates of the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) are in the front lines of our nation’s COVID-19 response, and you either will be or already are performing heroic service. Many of our colleagues are working under extraordinarily difficult conditions caring for patients with COVID-19 while others are faced with the uncertainty of cancellation of procedures and decreased patient volumes.

The ABA recognizes the strains under which you are practicing and wants you to prioritize your time to serve the immediate needs of your practice, your families, and yourself. If you feel that you cannot meet MOCA requirements because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then the ABA will waive those requirements for the remainder of 2020. There is no need to inform the Board if you need your requirements waived. We are working on a plan to operationalize this decision, particularly for diplomates whose certification expires this year, and will share details once we have them. The bottom line is that your certification will not be adversely impacted if you are not able to complete your MOCA requirements in 2020.

We strongly encourage you to continue your commitment to lifelong learning in the context of your current practice needs and expect that we shall all learn lessons – potentially difficult ones – during this time. Even though you may not be able to complete your MOCA requirements this year, the ABA is committed to supporting you through this crisis. Our staff is fully functional in a remote capacity and working closely with the Board of Directors to determine how best to provide this support. For example, MOCA Minute questions will still be available, as we know that such a question format is one of the best ways to enhance learning.  We have already begun to include COVID-19 questions, as we all need more information to help us better take care of our patients during this pandemic, and are working to rapidly add more. As with all MOCA Minute questions, the new COVID-19 items include links to learning resources that you may find useful, such as the Society for Critical Care Medicine’s online course in Critical Care for Non-ICU Clinicians and the materials available through the American Society of Anesthesiologists. 

Although you may not be able to answer MOCA Minute questions right now, we hope that as you have opportunity you will take advantage of this resource, and provide feedback about what topic areas would be most useful to you. We are committed to supporting you with education and practice relevant resources to assist you as you work to provide medical care during these challenging times.  We are also eager to hear from you about ways that we can provide support.

Words cannot express our gratitude for the extraordinary service that you have and will continue to provide to our patients and our country – thank you.