The American Board of Pediatrics knows for a fact that certified pediatricians have enough knowledge and skills to practice their profession efficiently. However, they also recognize the reality that the ever-changing world of medical science has created gaps in the quality of care delivered to children. That is precisely why the board strongly advocates the Maintenance of Certification program offered for pediatricians. That way, they can ensure that their medical professionals commit to continuing medical education and in to the improvement in their skills and knowledge in dealing with common and rare diseases that afflict their patients.
The maintenance of certification for pediatricians program covers four major parts: Professional Standing and Licensure, Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment, Cognitive Expertise or the Secure Exam, and the Performance in Practice. Each part must be successfully completed by a pediatrics diplomat in order to finish the 10-year cycle of the MOC for pediatrician.
Part I: Professional Standing and Licensure
In order for a physician to maintain his or her certification, he or she must have a good standing license. Physicians must have a valid and unrestricted medical license in the United States or in Canada. Those physicians who are not practicing in Canada or in any state of the United States and its territories must provide a valid proof of licensure from the country where the physician is practicing. Should a physician hold more than one license, all of his or her licences must meet the requirements.
Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
The purpose of the Part II of the maintenance of certification program is to make sure that pediatricians continually enhance their clinical knowledge and judgment, and skills. In order to meet this requirement, an applicant must participate in American Board of pediatrics approved continuing medical education activities.
Part III: Cognitive Expertise (Secure Exam)
In order for a pediatrician to maintain his or her certification, he or she must take and pass a secure exam. Successful completion of this exam is required every 10 years. There are approximately 200 questions in this test which is conducted six days a week from January to June and September to December. You definitely need to prepare for this test and in order to pass; you can take advantage of t the continuing medical education activities you participated in on the second part of the MOC program. This is one of the reasons why it is very crucial that medical professionals take CME activities rather seriously.
Part IV: Performance in Practice
A medical professional should not only excel academically, or in theory, he or she must also be keen in translating that knowledge to clinical practice. Therefore, the final part of the maintenance of certification program requires pediatricians to showcase competence in patient care. There are two ways to assess one’s performance: quality improvement and patient survey. For quality improvement, you can either participate in established quality improvement (QI) projects or web-based improvement activities. On the other hand, patient surveys allow parents and patients to have a say on the performance of their pediatrician; after all, they are the direct beneficiary of whatever their pediatrician learns from the MOC program and continuing medical education.