Articles tagged with: MOC

MOCA Means MORE Questions

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Tuesday, 07 March 2017. Posted in Pediatrics Recertification

In our previous blog “Be a Beta MOCA” we informed you that the MOCA for earning Part 3 credit had arrived. In this blog we will review the details of this pilot and what you get out of enrolling in the program.

If you are due to take the Exam in December of 2017 and have not signed up for the MOCA group yet, you will have to take the actual exam, at a Prometric Center in 2017. The chance to sign up passed already in October.

Above: How I feel knowing I missed my chance to sign up and not have to take a secured exam

Whenever you opt into the MOCA Group during the year you are due to take the exam in December, the exam gets delayed by a year.

What is the MOCA process? You are sent 20 questions to answer every 3 months. These questions are based on 40 topics which are available on the ABP website.

The Months are Long but the Minutes are Short

The days are long but the years are short. Well here the months are long but the minutes are short. What does that mean? Well you have 3 months to answer the questions but you will be given 5 minutes to answer the question. That is 5 minutes to look it up, call your friends or just answer it. If you start the question and log off you get the question wrong.

You will need to get a majority of the questions correct just as you would on the Part 3 Electronic Prometric exam.

So what if you successfully get the majority of the questions answered correctly, are you done?

Of course not! For one thing this is just in the experimental stage. The only reward you get for now is a postponement of the Prometric® proctored examination.

Above: How I feel knowing the exam is just postponed using MOCA

Where is this Going?

The following year, you will have the same choice again. Take the proctored exam or take the 20 questions per quarter route. If you accept the latter, your due date for the proctored exam gets pushed up yet another year to 2019.

At one point, once this is all settled the ABP will determine if MOCA will replace the Electronic Secured Prometric exam

Once the prometric is phased out, instead of taking an exam once every 10 years you will have to answer the 20 questions a quarter. If you take out your calculator that means you are answering 80 questions a year, instead of 200 questions in one sitting, every 10 years.

Completion of QOW and Possible Glitches

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 22 February 2017. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics Recertification

As noted in the previous blog, I had 22 points toward my required 40 Part 2 points. Once I completed 20 more QOW’s I was to receive 10 more points, which would bring me to a total 32 Points as noted in the screenshot below:

 

 

 Once I completed the 20 questions,  and answered the required questionnaire, I received the following confirmation and words of congratulations:

 

 

 

Above: How I feel every time I get a congrats notice from the ABP

 

I next visited my portfolio dashboard, to verify that it was updated.  I expected to see either 32/40 complete or 30/40 complete. Much to my surprise my dashboard indicated that I had completed 40/40 or ALL of my 40 required Part 2 points.  Clearly this was an error and likely due to the new QOW changes being configured incorrectly.

 

 

 

 

Today I called the Board to let them know of this probable glitch since this is likely a system wide issue. 

I next checked my MOC transcript and clearly I received duplicate credit for questions completed on the same day.  Once the glitch in the system is fixed, this should be adjusted and I will update this blog. The screenshot of my transcript is below:

  

 

 

I next wanted to check if I received the CME credit and the link for that is “View Completed Activities“ which is noted in the screenshot below:

 

Once this Is clicked you are taken to the screenshot below. Activities for my current cycle are noted with a red asterisk. There you can see that only activities completed in 2017 are eligible for CME credit. I suspect that only 1 certificate will appear once the glitch is fixed.

 

Once I clicked on the CME certificate link I was taken to the screenshot below. The certificate confirmed that I completed the activity on December 31, 1969. Yes , December 1969.  

 

 

I was in the 4th grade. Just to put this in the right perspective that was 11 months after the New York Jets won the Super Bowl.

Above: How I felt when realizing I was in the 3rd grade in 1969

 

I noted this to the Board when I called them, clearly there are a few glitches to work out and they appreciated that. I will update you when this is corrected in a future blog, which I suspect will occur before the Jets appear, let alone, win their 2nd Super Bowl

 

 

What you need to know:

 

In order to receive 10 Part 2 MOC points for the Question of the Week, you need to answer 20 questions correctly and complete an online questionnaire. In addition, you will also receive 10 hours of CME credits for your efforts. There seems to be a glitch in the system, possibly due to the new QOW credit system, which will likely be corrected by the American Board of Pediatrics now that they are aware of this issue.

   

CME for QOW

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 18 January 2017. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatric recertification

A MOC Earned is a CME Earned 

In our previous blog, we left you hanging regarding the timing and the amount of CME credit you could receive when you complete 20 QOWs and get 10 MOC Part 2 points.  

You get 1 CME hour for every MOC point you earn on the QOW module. Therefore, you get 10 hours CME credit for 10 MOC Part 2 points earned. That means, they expect you to spend 30 minutes on each question.

Apparently, the QOWs completed prior to January 4th will not count toward CME as noted in the screenshot below:

What happened to the 2 points I received way back in December 2016? 

Recall, that the letter I received from the ABP in December noted that I would get 2 MOC points (not eligible for CME). However, since I need to answer 20 questions to get my 10 points, what will these 2 points do for me? That is not clear since, like an ATM machine, the MOC points are dispensed in multiples of 10s and 20s. It might just be that I have 2 points floating around like a non functional skin tag.  

This is why the dashboard on my portfolio notes that I have 22/40 MOC Points instead of 20/40

However, I still have to answer 20 questions not 18 to get the 10 MOC points. This is noted in the screen shot below. What purpose these 2 extra points will serve remains a mystery. 

The screen shot of my dashboard outlines this clearly! So now it is time for me to begin answering the QOWs as I march toward the magic number of 20 for my MOC and CME double dipping adventure. See you at the completion of this trip.

 

What you need to Know

When you complete your 20 QOWs you get 10 Part 2 MOC credits and 10 CME hours. This only counts for QOWs answered after January 7th 2017.  It is not clear how Part 2 QOW points earned prior to January 7th will apply for MOC credit but we do know that they won’t count for CME credits. 

Questions about Questions of the Week 2017: QOW Equals MOC and CME

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 11 January 2017. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatric recertification

The year 2017 is barely more than a week old! Belated Happy New Year to everyone!

In case you missed it, 2017 promises to be full of exciting surprises, unusual Tweets and mercurial changes. In addition Donald J. Trump as president is bound to be interesting as well.

In a previous blog we discussed the Question of the Week as one of the easier ways to fulfill the Part 2 Pediatric MOC Credit.

Late December, I got the following email from the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). 

This represents additional changes to a constantly shifting and confusing process.

Apparently the Question of the week is the ABP’s most popular Part 2 activity. Yay! Starting 2017 (the future is now here), there are several “enhancements”

While the enhancements were being configured, in early December, access to the QOW was disabled.  I have to admit I had no idea since I am not in a rush to complete this requirement.

After receiving this letter I learned the following:

Wow NOW CME MOC QOW[1]

Most of it is good news! When you complete the QOW, in addition to MOC credit you will also receive CME credit. Double dipping has never been better.

Less is More !

In the Pre -2017 era, you needed to successfully complete 25 Questions of the Week to get your 10 MOC credits. In the Post-2017, era you only need to complete 20 QOW to receive your 10 credits (and CME Credits as well)

More Underwhelming Changes

Additional information in this announcement included:

Medical Pearls: are available at the end of each questions

QOW Archiving: QOWs that have been on the shelf longer than 3 years will still be available. However you won’t be able to get MOC or CME credit for these oldies on the shelf.

References Hyperlinked: If a particular topic interests you, the references can be accessed through hyperlinks embedded in the QOW

These enhancements are interesting and nice but really not important for those of you looking for a quick and painless way to get your Part 2 credits.

Once you have fulfilled your Part 2 requirement this will, of course, be a useful resource and learn more about topics of interest and relevance to your practice.

More Questions were raised by the QOW Enhancements:

How many hours of CME credit will I receive for each set of 20  questions answered successfully? 

The letter also stated that I will receive 2 points for the QOW’s I already answered in 2016. 

Will I received CME credit for these 2 points earned in 2016?

Here is a snapshot of my current profile. I currently have 22 points toward my Part 2 requirement of 40 Points.

Once I continue this process, I will have the answers to this question and will be sharing this in a future blog! 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Yes this is a play on the How Now Brown Cow elocution teaching exercise from the days of yore.

Be a Beta MOCA

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Friday, 16 December 2016. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatric recertification

The opportunity to enroll in the Pediatric MOCA program is here.  So what does that mean?

As we have noted in our blogs, the American Board of Pediatrics has agreed to test the MOCA alternative to the Prometric secured exam to test your “Cognitive Expertise” in Pediatrics. Most of would agree that anything is better than taking another exam!

However, not taking the exam may or may not be the case and this is the reason that the ABP is allowing you to enroll in the new MOCA program. By enrolling in the MOCA program you will essentially be serving as a “beta tester” the rest of us. 

Who Can MOCA?

Enrollment in the program is limited to those of you who are due to take your Prometric exam at the end of the year. For those of you who must fulfill your Part 3 requirement by December 2017 you would have needed to enroll this past October. If you opted in, then you are among the chosen. If you did not opt-in you are among the frozen. That is the frozen who must still take the exam before the December deadline.  For the chosen few, who opted in here are your options:

 

If you have elected to enroll in the MOCA program, your exam requirement is postponed until December 2018. What do you have to do to deserve this reprieve?  You have to actually go through the program during the calendar year of 2017. In our next blog we will go over what this entails and where it gets you in your MOC cycle.

Above: When MOC Part 3 is postponed

Light a Fire

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Friday, 24 June 2016. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics Recertification

Light a fire if you're among the lucky ones who have registered for and are planning on taking the Part 3 Cognitive Expertise Secure Exam before the summer break. You are in the home stretch. It's down to the wire and it’s time to light a fire to your studying.

Earlier this month we pre-released 100 copies of the 5th and newest edition of our popular Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification and the MOC Process. For those of you unable to get a copy we have some good news. We now have the book available in stock and ready for shipment. For those of you in the home stretch and wish to use our book in our promo code lightafireonMOC to receive 10% off. 

For those of you who have not signed up for the exam, there may (or may not) still be time to sign up. There is only one way to find out by checking into this link.

MOC pediatrics

Announcing the Release of the 5th Edition of “Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification”

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 18 May 2016. Posted in Pediatrics MOC

By now we are assuming that you have already arranged to take the Cognitive Expertise Secure Exam aka MOC Part 3. Once again, taking it before the summer buys you time to prepare in the event that you do not pass the first time.  If you pass!? Then you are done for another 10 years and can really enjoy your summer vacation as we noted in our previous blog

However, Part 3 is only one part of the MOC process you must complete before your December expiration date.  In order to help you to prepare for and be familiar with all aspects of the Pediatric MOC process we are happy to finally announce the release of the latest edition of our Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification and Guide to the MOC Process ® 5th edition.  

This updated edition includes a complete overhaul of the material that you will be tested on. This mirrors the material included in the 6th edition of our main text "Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards" which was also recently released. All of this was based on the content specifications provided by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

This newly released title includes new chapters on “Ethics for the Primary Care Physician” and “Patient Safety and Quality Improvement” which have been added to the exam.  

The new Surfing your Way to Recertification, however, focuses on the entire MOC process saving you hours of head scratching tab delete keystrokes trying to understand exactly what is expected of you.

We review suggested modules and provide recommendations for the Part 2 and Part 4 MOC requirements.

Part 1 requires no guidelines since that is the easy one, which requires you to have an active medical license or its equivalent. We assume you already have that since that is the admission ticket to even get through the MOC door. 

We are very excited about this new release and with July 1st coming soon, we want to thank all of you who have written us and patiently awaited the release of the title.  As a token of our thanks and to assist you in overcoming procrastination we are offering a discount code (code: RELEASETHE5TH) that will be good from now through June 1st, which will provide you with a 10% discount.

Above: my reaction when passing the MOC exam

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Tuesday, 10 May 2016. Posted in Pediatrics Recertification

If you are at the end of your 2nd MOC cycle and are required to pass the Cognitive Expertise Secure Exam, then this could be the most vulnerable time of the year. Why do we say that? Well, if you do not sign up for and take “The Exam“ before July then you won’t have another chance at it until September.  Both Members of Congress and those who administer “The Exam” are off on vacation during the months of July and August.

Above: ABP members on summer vacation

Wouldn’t it be nice, (which is also the title of an old Beach Boys tune) to hear the good news that you passed the exam during the summer? You would be able to enjoy the rest of the summer months and surf the boards (which is similar to the title of our study guide) knowing that you have completed the Part 3 MOC requirement for another 10 years.

On the other hand, if you have not successfully passed the exam you will at least have the rest of the summer to get it right. This way, you have plenty of time to get it right the next time, well before the December deadline for passing the secured exam. It is now May and July is just around the bend.  So Surfs up, and time to paddle to the nearest Prometric® Center and sign up through the specific link set up for those taking American Board of Pediatric exams.

In addition to paddling your way to the website, you have the option of taking a test drive at the actual center, but there may be a cost associated with this.  This may not be necessary since, let’s face it, anyone taking the MOC secure exam is experienced. But if you are of the older generation that is not familiar with computerized exam is might be worth it. You can arrange this test drive through this link

Regardless, we suggest that you get on this right away so you know well in advance where and when you will be taking this exam.  If you want to really enjoy the summer surfing season by surfing your way to recertification, sign up immediately. July is right around the corner. 

Don't be like this guy:

Be like this guy and Surf Your Way to Pediatric Recertification:

The QOW Experience

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Tuesday, 01 March 2016. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics MOC , Pediatric recertification, Pediatric Maintenance of Certification

In my previous blog last week, I noted that the ABP QOW was a great way to get MOC Part 2 credit.  Each year, the ABP has been releasing 50 questions a year, one week at a time.  They have been doing so since December 2013 which means folks like me who are entering their MOC cycle can catch up if they would like.  For every 25 questions you answer correctly you get awarded 10 Part 2 MOC points out of the 40 required points.

Above GIF: How I feel when answering a QOW correctly

In the last blog, I had 11 out of the required 25 questions answered correctly. I also got 4 questions wrong.  This is the key, you must answer them correctly for it to count.   Since I am working on 2014 and 2015, there are 100 questions with a potential for 40 points available.  In that context it is very easy to get sloppy and answer the questions incorrectly.  And I have been guilty of this. However, since I am in year one of a 5-year cycle, this won’t be too costly since there are other Part 2 MOC modules available.  Even if I decide to get all of my MOC Part 2 points through the QOW, I have future years to continue the process.

Above GIF: My reaction when answering a QOW question incorrectly

Once you answer the question there is a forum for each question you can post comments to.

One reader even noted that he answered the question correctly on the Pre-Test but got it wrong after reading the abstract and discussion.  This reader’s advice was to not read the answers before reading the abstract.  This is personal taste.   The bottom line is: if you need these points this year, then you have to go through the abstract and discussion with emphasis on the conclusion and the parts of the discussion that focuses on the key points in the question.

If you have already gone through all of the archived questions then you will have to wait an entire week to move on to the next question since the QOW is question of the week!

When you answer the question correctly you must “claim your pearl “ by clicking the appropriate button illustrated in the screen shot below. Below that is the "post" button and "comment section". This is where you post your comments that other readers can read or just ignore.

ABP_recertification_screenshot1

Once you answered 25 questions correctly and claimed all 25 pearls, you get a nice little sticker that says the following:  

screenshot_ABP_recertification

Your stats on that set of questions gets reset, thus I was unable to go back and get a screen shot for this blog.

I then went to my dashboard which is in the screen shot below. As you can see I now have 10 out of 40 required Part 2 MOC Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment Points needed by December 17th 2020.  

MOC_ABP_screenshot3

Of note you do not get CME Credit for completing the QOW. I will review the other modules that we recommend for Part 2 MOC Credit in future blogs some of which do provide an opportunity for free CME credit. The nice thing is you can get all of your credit through QOW and still take advantage of the other modules, which helps you to prepare for the Part 3 secured exam AND provides CME credit.

I am currently going through my next set of questions and have 10 out of the required 25 questions completed. As I move along in the cycle I will provide updates on my experience with advise on avoiding the pitfalls I encounter. 

easy_recertification_moc_pediatrics

Pediatric MOC QOW and the Slow and Steady / Binge Option

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Sunday, 14 February 2016. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics Recertification

One of the options for obtaining MOC Part 2 credits is the ABP Question of the week or QOW[1] as they like to call it. The ABP releases 1 question per week, with a break for Christmas and New Year.  This totals 50 questions per year. Once you sign up up, the QOW is inconveniently sent to your already cluttered email box.  You can of course just log into your portfolio to access the question and send this email to the trash if you would like.

For every 25 questions you answer correctly you get 10 Part 2 MOC points.

Each QOW consists of:

1) A case study
2) Pre test Question: Before reading the abstract and discussion you take a guess at the correct answer.
3) A thrilling abstract filled with breathtaking stats and equations

4) A stimulating discussion about the abstract with even more exciting stats. They then, finally give you relevant information to your practice
5) Post test Question

Another chance to answer the same question. Since you have now gone through the abstract and exciting discussion you are now expected to answer the question correctly.

You only get one shot at the post test. If you get it right you get your pellet and are 1/25th closer to the 10 Points of Part 2 Credit you are seeking.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race Method

This is an opportunity to slowly but relatively painlessly chip away at the Part 2 MOC payload.

Since you need to answer an entire set of 25 questions to get the 10 points, there is absolutely no margin of error if you want to get the 20 points offered each year.

Slow and steady of course won’t work if you have left this to the last minute.

BINGE – QOW Method

If you are in the beginning of your MOC cycle you have the luxury of time

These questions are all there for the taking since they have been sending out and archiving the QOW since December 2013. As a result, you can, “ binge QOW “[2] your way to earning points, by going through all of the QOWs published and available since the beginning.

BINGE and SLOW Method

If you are early in your cycle as I am then you can binge QOW and go slow and steady as well.

Warning, they expect you to spend 20 minutes with each question, so keep this in mind if you choose to “binge QOW” your way to points. Theoretically, you can get through this in less than 20 minutes, but you are attesting to having taken the full 20 minutes when you submit each QOW for MOC credit.  

Sharpen your pencils and you will see that they have archived a full 50 questions for 2014 and 2015 waiting for you to binge on.  This means that there are 40 points available to you before you even start answering one question per week.

Recall that we recommend earning 60 of your combined Part 2 / Part 4 100 point requirement through Part 2 activities.

This means that if you answered all of the archived QOWs correctly to earn 40 points and then slowly earn 20 more through the slow and steady method, you have earned your 60 Part 2 credits exclusively through QOW.

I just started my next 5-year MOC cycle and it seems that I might be able to knock this requirement within my first year of this current cycle.

 

Fulfilling your Entire Part Quota with QOW?

As we note in our Down to the Wire Guide to Completing the Pediatric MOC PDF you will see that there are advantages to earning MOC credit through the Knowledge Self Assessment and the Decision Skills Self Assessment modules. As I go through the process I will research whether one can still go through these modules without needing the credit.

Below is a screen shot of my status at this point. I currently have 11 out of the necessary 25 points to get my 10 Part Credits.  I will post my next blog once I have successfully answered my 25 questions and received my first 10 Part 2 points for this cycle. Notice I answered 11 out of 15 questions correctly. I will make suggestions on avoiding this pitfall in my next blog post.

For those of you who prefer video, click this link to the ABP video blog that explains the QOW option for Part 2 MOC credit. 



[1] Pronounced COW

[2] hmm I may have coined a new term

New and Improved Pediatric MOC: Part 4 Improvement in Practice

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Tuesday, 26 January 2016. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

The MOC process continues to be abuzz with change with the ABP keeping an eye on other specialty groups that are part of the American Board of Subspecialties parent group. 

Due to this, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has already temporarily suspended the Quality in Practice requirement through the end of 2018, while the process is under review.

Similarly, the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) is also reviewing the Part 4 requirement. However, they have not suspended the requirements. Sorry!  

However, in the June 30th ABP Blog they concede that this is still a work in progress and offered up, what they consider to be, a more user friendly and relevant options that are outlined on their website. These seem to be variations on the same options that have been in place already.  Therefore, we are still recommending that you use the Practice Improvement Modules (PIMs).

There is, however good news for some of you. The good news is you may have fulfilled the Part 4 MOC with work you have already completed. 

Home is where the MOC is!

If you are lucky enough to be part of a practice that has taken on the onerous task of qualifying as a “Patient Centered Medical Home” (PCMH), you have already engaged in Quality Improvement (QI) activities. These activities are approved by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and as they say, “what’s good for the NCQA goose is good for the ABP gander”. This is similar to graduating residents killing 2 birds with one MOC stone for QI projects done during residency [i].

The gruesome details on applying to the QI activities for Part 4: Improvement in Professional Practice Credit can be found here. Or you can use this video link. 

Create You Own QI

One of the more relevant ways to obtain Part 4 credit is by creating your own QI project. Personally, I do not see how this is easier or even a step-up from using one of the predesigned PIM’s but this is considered to be one of the more “intuitive” models offered by the ABP. This is also one of the paths to applying the PCMH projects for MOC Part 4 Credit. 

Institution MOC

Another avenue to explore is if you are fortunate or unfortunate enough to be a department chairman, chief quality officer or a director of public health. You may have an opportunity to get MOC credit for work already done if you have lead “substantial health care quality initiatives” in your organization. When you look in the ceiling to floor mirror and see such a person, this link applies to you.

Overall it seems that for now you have to do the busy work with the good news being that you can double-dip for the busy work you have already done. The ABP promises more changes to come as they study the issues further. Hopefully, "what’s good for the ABIM goose will be good for the ABP gander."

 

 

 

 



[i] This is called, Practice Assessment, Patient Voice and Patient Safety Requirements on the Internal Medicine MOC process. 

 

Before the Ball Drops

on Friday, 20 November 2015. Posted in Pediatrics Recertification

For those of you with certificates that expire in 2015, hopefully you've already completed the requirements for the current MOC cycle.  If one of your requirements is completing Part 3, the cognitive expertise “secure exam”, this is one ball you don't want to drop.

You might have circled December 31st on your calendar as the day the ball is dropped from the roof of One Time Square .  But, if you wait until the 31st you will have dropped the ball on getting your certificate renewed.  You needed to circle November 30th at 3PM as the deadline for registering to take the exam at one of the prometric test sites.  That's 3PM Eastern Standard time for those of you living in Arizona refusing to set your clocks forward.  The deadline for taking the exam is actually December 15th. After that your ball turns into a pumpkin and you'll be searching for the lost glass slipper of recertification.

If you are one of those adrenaline junkies who are still watching the clock tick there is still time left to prepare.

For those of you wishing to use our material the bad news is we will not have a new edition of Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification until early 2016. However, the good news is we have already released the brand new 6th edition of Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards this fall.  The updated material is the same material included in the soon to be released Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification. The only difference is the first section that is focused on the initial certification exam.  

You may order the Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards 6th edition and we will include our Down to the Wire Guide to Passing the MOC e-book, which includes our guide and recommended step-by-step pathway for fulfilling the MOC requirement.  The e-book includes a pre-test diagnostic quiz to help you identify areas of weakness to focus on as the clock ticks towards December 15th.

Simply order the main text using the code DROPTHEBALL2015 to get the PDF download.  No need to drop the ball now.  Prepare for the secured exam so you can actually look forward to the ball dropping on new year's eve while looking forward to a fresh start in 2016 with your MOC in place. All without worrying about dropped balls and missing glass slipper.

The Countdown to Pediatric MOC Certification 2014

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 29 January 2014. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics Recertification

We have received countless calls and emails from pediatricians who are faced with an expiring board certificate and the specter of sitting for a proctored exam for the first time in over 10 years. 

At least this is a task that most of us have a successful track record with or we wouldn’t be Board Certified Pediatricians in need of recertification

However, getting through Parts 2 and Parts 4 are even more daunting since it is not clear what exactly needs to be done to get credit.

I know I personally had no idea of the details until I went through the process myself last year. I even wrote about it.

Even once the process began to make sense, and you roll up your gingham patterned sleeves another curve ball hits the outside corner. Last year the scoring system changed. This year the expiration date for your pediatric board certification expires on December 18th rather than December 31st.

However don’t despair we are here to help you get through the MOC process.

In order to get through it last year I had to go through several trials and errors. These included glitches in:

  • Registering for the exam 
  • What I should have brought to the exam
  • What I shouldn’t have brought to the exam
  • What I forgot to bring to the exam

(The security in the exam center felt like I was in an airport surrounded by marginally dressed TSA agents)

Prometrics exam meme

I spent days and weeks trying to determine which were the least confusing, most useful and cost effective (cheaper) modules to go through. The explanations on the websites were not always easy to follow. There were no arrows pointing to the best and least time consuming modules.

I found myself so confused and bored flies were landing on my bloodshot eyes and it took me 3 hours to notice. That is when I decided to get on the phone with both the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

bored at the moc process

I remember wishing for a simple monograph I could use to supplement the study materials I had used. A monograph that would walk me through the process and provide me with a general idea of what material I needed to focus on.  Believe me I searched for such a concise booklet but was stuck with the outlines on the American Board of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatrics Websites, which were anything but concise.  Without the numerous phone calls I would probably be scrambling to get my MOC recertification completed along with the class of 2014.

After I successfully completed the cycle I decided to put together a monograph so that my colleagues could benefit from the legwork I did to simplify the process for myself.

We also included a MOC Nuggets ™ section which will help you gauge how prepared you are regarding fund of knowledge for the pediatric recertification process. Like all of our material, this is based on the content specifications of the American Board of Pediatrics.

The sample questions and answers include tips on how to break down questions. This will be especially valuable to those of you have not studied nor sat for an exam in more than a decade.

This guide will help you get through the process in the spirit in which it is intended.  Your focus should be on learning the material in the modules, and improving the quality of your practice rather than trying to figure out the process itself. 

 

pediatric recertification meme

Keeping Score of the Pediatric Recertification (MOC) Grading Changes

on Friday, 13 September 2013. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics Recertification

We just released our blog with suggestions on taking the MOC 3 Pediatric Recertification Exam. Within a day we received a notice from the ABP which was also posted on their website that they are changing the way the exam will be scored and how the results will be provided.

I didn’t mention in the previous blog that I did indeed score high enough to pass my Part 3 MOC (hold the applause please) and boy am I glad since I do not like any change.

(For those of you like this information straight up on the rocks, this is the link to the American Board of Pediatrics announcement: http://bit.ly/15o4bot)

Here is the TL:DR (too long didn’t read) version:

1)    What percentage correct do you now need to pass the exam?

You still need to get around 75% correct to pass the exam, and yes that means you need to get approximately 75% to get a raw score of 180.

2) What was wrong with the old way of scoring…back in the good old days of June 2013, when life was simple and sweet?

Well that is a good question and the answer is back in those days there was essentially only one exam that everyone took. Today in the era of September 2013, there is more than 1 exam and that leads to a greater variation in the amount and type of questions (note: there may be some overlap with what questions are asked on each specific exam). Therefore, there is much more “examic diversity” and all of the exams are not created equally. Some questions are easier than others.  Therefore, the percentage correct will not necessarily be the same for each exam. Some, for example, might allow a passing grade for a score below 75%. However the scaled score for that passing grade will be 180.

3)    Will I still know how I did in each specialty?

In the past you were told what percentage correct you got broken down by specialty. Now, you are going to be told, your raw score for each of the 17-specialty areas.

**They are going to a standardized score**

Up until now it was pretty straightforward: you got around 75% correct (not 80%) and you passed. There was essentially ONE test given

Bottom line is you need a scaled score of 180 to pass, but the percentage correct you need for that raw score will now vary depending on which version of the exam you are taking.

If you have not taken the exam yet and your certification expires December 31st, 2013 we suggest you sign up now since you can take twice and you want to leave yourself a margin of error.

 

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ON Your MOC Get Set GO: A guide through the pediatrics MOC part 3

on Tuesday, 27 August 2013. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatric recertification

For those of you who need to take the MOC part 3 or “secured exam” you probably have realized that you cannot take it over the summer. This may be concerning if your certification is set to expire in December 2013. You now only have 4 months left to take the exam. Since you have only 2 shots at it, you should consider taking the exam in September.  

When I realized there was only 2 shots at it, I began to panic since I wanted plenty of time to prepare in case I didn’t pass. I chose to take the exam in early June.

So I went through the registration process and the day of the exam approached, It is good advice when they say allow a lot of time to find the Prometric Center. The test center was located in an unmarked building in an industrial park. The GPS on my android kept informing me that I had arrived at my location, which was an intersection between 2 dump trucks and a disco bowling alley.

When you finally arrive you are given a locker and informed that you have to empty your pockets. I suggest you bring some ibuprofen with you in case you get a headache. I sure wish I had. If you take other medication remember to take that with you as well.

prexam_feelings

How I felt when sitting for the exam

When you finally sit for the exam, you are in a room full of cubicles and while it is theoretically quiet, those who are easily distracted by a symphony of gum smacking keystroke click clack,in B Minor will need to find a way to filter out the noise. If you fit that description definitely bring earplugs. While they DO provide you with over the ear headphones, they are the kind that seems to have been made in the 1970’s. It has plastic edges that leave permanent scars behind your ears.  They did filter out some noise if you don’t mind the painful distraction of the hard edges cutting grooves into your outer ear.  I also suggest you bring light clothing with a zip up sweatshirt. You never know if it will be too hot or too cold there.

You won’t need a calculator because there is an on screen calculator there for you to summon up during the exam.

Exam layout

The exam is set up as follows:

You have to answer 2 sets of questions with 100 questions in each set. You have around 2 hours to answer each set and once you close out 1 set you cannot go back to it. During each question set you are given a warning when you have an hour remaining and 30 minutes remaining. In addition, there is a hold button for questions you are not sure of or just want to come back to. I suggest that you answer all the questions you are sure of first and place the ones you are not sure of on hold to come back to later. You need to make sure you release the hold button when you come back to answer the question!

I made the mistake of not realizing this. I went back and entered answers to these questions and thought I was done. However, when I looked at the main menu the questions were still listed as incomplete. Fortunately, I had time to spare

After I finished the first question set and reviewed my questions, I still had over a half hour left. It is tempting to use that time rather than move on to the next set. However, this is a test of stamina as much as it is a test of knowledge. Most of us have not taken standardized exams in years and are not used to this

I viewed myself as being on borrowed time regarding attention span, so I closed out this set, took a break and went onto the next set.  At that point I wished somebody had suggested I take along a light snack as I am suggesting you do. At that point I realized that I was also on borrowed time regarding my blood sugar levels dropping.

After the exam they informed me that it rang during the exam with various sounds and ring tones indicating I had texts coming in. In reality they could have told me this when I went for a bathroom break.  But I was very relieved that I was done with the exam and immediately changed my ring tone to Alice Cooper’s “School’s out for Summer“  .. at least I was done with this exam for the summer.

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How I felt after the exam

TL:DR (Too long, didn’t read):

 

  • Get there early to make sure you can find the Promtric ® center  
  • Bring ibuprofen  and any medication you might need with you.
  • Let folks know you will not be responding to phone calls or text messages since all your belongings will be placed in a locker (sort of like going to prison except they let you keep your belt and shoes)[1]
  • Bring earplugs
  • The computer has a calculator
  • Answer all the questions you know first and hold the ones you are unsure of for later and come back to them.
  • Unhold questions that were held after you answer them.


[1] In a future blog we will discuss some smart phone apps that auto respond to texts 

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