Maintenance of Certification for Physicians - Part IV


In 2001, the American Board of Medical Specialties voted unanimously to expand recertification programs into maintenance of certification (MOC) programs — more comprehensive programs to assess the ongoing competence of physician specialists and their ability to provide quality health care in six general competencies:

  • Medical knowledge
  • Patient care
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Practice-based learning and improvements
  • System-based practice

In the past, the certification process comprised successful completion of an approved educational program, an unrestricted medical license as evidence of professional standing, and passing the certification examination. Now nuclear medicine professionals can no longer simply take an exam to renew a certificate; lifelong learning must be documented.

The American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) MOC program is a process designed to document that nuclear medicine physicians maintain the necessary competencies to provide quality patient care in nuclear medicine. It is now an ongoing process and will require the assessment and improvement of practice performance by nuclear medicine physicians, as well as other physician specialists who wish to be certified, and/or maintain their certification, in nuclear medicine.

To see a complete listing of all the SNMMI Performance in Practice Projects, Templates, and Resources (MOC Part IV), please click here.

MOC Components and Requirements

There are four components of MOC. To renew a certification when it expires, a nuclear medicine physician will be required to present evidence of the following:

Part I - Professional Standing — evidence of professional standing is provided by a medical license(s) that has no limitations on the practice of medicine and surgery in that jurisdiction.

Part II - Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment — evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and involvement in a periodic self-assessment process to guide continuing learning. The ABNM requires each diplomate to obtain a minimum of 8 self-assessment credits per year in order to be eligible for the recertification exam. These credit hours may be obtained by completing the SNM Lifelong Learning & Self-Assessment Program (LLSAP) modules.

Part III - Cognitive Expertise — evidence of cognitive expertise based on performance on an examination. That exam should be secure, reliable and valid. It must contain questions on fundamental knowledge, up-to-date practice-related knowledge, and other issues such as ethics and professionalism. This component consists of the recertification examination administered by the ABNM.

Part IV - Performance in Practice Evaluation — evidence of evaluation of performance in practice, including the medical care provided for common/major health conditions, and physician behaviors, such as communication and professionalism, as they relate to patient care. ABMS is developing tools and SNM plans to develop management modules in the future.

To see a complete listing of all the SNMMI Performance in Practice Projects, Templates, and Resources (MOC Part IV), please click here.