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The Anatomy of MOCA-Peds: A Quality Improvement Project to Meet the Needs of Pediatricians :

November 30, 2018

The need for ongoing continuous certification in pediatrics, as with all the other board-certifiable medical specialties, following initial certification has been somewhat controversial.

The need for ongoing continuous certification in pediatrics, as with all the other board-certifiable medical specialties, following initial certification has been somewhat controversial. Yet the need to ensure that we continue to advance our knowledge and clinical skills to address new knowledge and new expectations in our field supports the need for a maintenance of certification (MOC) process.  While colleagues may not have an issue with demonstrating evidence of lifelong learning through reporting of continuing medical education (CME) and other low-stakes knowledge-based activities, the need for a secure “high stakes exam” every ten years has not been met with enormous joy by many AAP members who are also ABP diplomates.  That is why the ABP embarked on a quality improvement process to change the secure exam from a “learning for an assessment” exercise to a meaningful “assessment for learning” with the creation of “MOCA-Peds,” an online assessment that provides a block of questions every three months that can be answered online using open-book references. 

How did this exam evolve to the point where it is now offered to all general pediatricians seeking recertification, and soon will begin to be available for subspecialty recertification as well? That is the story that is well-told by Leslie et al (10.1542/peds.2018-1428) in a new special article being early released this week.  Dr. Leslie and colleagues take us through the creation, development, and implementation of MOCA-Peds.  The way that they applied principles of improvement science in the development of this new assessment, now being used by thousands of diplomates yearly, is well worth learning about.  If you are concerned that this part of the MOC process is not responsive to the needs of its users, please link to this article and gain a different perspective.  And if you are using MOCA-Peds currently, perhaps you can share your experience with this new type of assessment via this blog, by submitting a comment with the article on our website, or posting your thoughts on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.

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