Articles tagged with: Pediatric Recertification

Pediatric Part 2 QOW: Glitches Resolved

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Friday, 17 March 2017. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

It seems that the American Board of Pediatrics resolved the glitch in their system. I now have 32 Part Points rather than 40.

My MOC transcript is now correct with the duplication removed:

 

Once again, QOW activities completed after January 2017 are eligible for CME credit which I received. This time, the credit was awarded for 2017 not back to the past in 1969.

 

Above: How the ABP fixes MOC glitches

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

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.

recertification_gif

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 

Zen and the Art of Pediatric MOCcycle

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Tuesday, 15 January 2013. Posted in Pediatric recertification, Pediatric Maintenance of Certification

I recently heard about a pediatrician, who procrastinated as long as he could to put his toe into the uncertain waters of the “MOC” process until the deadline for “enrolling” in the MOC process was less than a month away. That pediatrician was me!  

 I not only had to  put together the book used by so many of our colleagues, but I also have to go through the process myself.  I can tell you the latter is much more difficult.  It is much easier to teach and preach than to perform.

I invite those of you who are and/or will be going through the MOC process in the coming weeks to join me on what I hope will be a humor-laden description of this confusing process which will cover more than merely preparing for an exam.  That isn’t to say that preparing for and taking a proctored exam is an easy task for us working stiffs who spend all day helping patients and then answering to the needs of a family when we get home. Many of us have not taken an exam since Bill Clinton was actually the president, and not a hired gun giving speeches at the DNC.  

 

For most of you, this process will begin with a good news/bad news letter.  The good news is you have been given 2 more years to prepare for the proctored exam.

The bad news is you will have to enroll in the MOC process, and go through MOC cycles” to maintain your certification.  The proctored exam is just one part of the on the MOC–cycle trip.  The MOC process is not a cheap one and proportionately higher for us pediatricians who cannot compete with our more fortunate procedure reimbursed colleagues. We will cover that in future blogs.

 

Circling the Cycle:

Part 1: Professional Standing – Also known as having a valid medical license.

Part 2: Knowledge Assessment:  Differentiated into 2 subcategories[1]

  • Knowledge Self Assessment- 200 online questions, which you don’t even have to pass to get credit.
  • Decision Self Assessment – 50 multiple choice questions based on patient cases , this time you have to get a passing grade

Part 3:  Cognitive Expertise:  Also known as the proctored exam, or the big test, the one you had to take every 7 years and now have to take every 10 years while MOC cycling.

Part 4: Performance in Practice:  This is the part that had and still has me as confused as an octogenarian staring at iPod®.   As of this writing I am still not clear on what the heck we are expected to do.  This is not a simple matter of answering questions online or even preparing for and taking an exam. This involves something along the lines or doing a quality improvement study in your practice. 

I began reading this, and flies began landing on my eyes without my noticing while I reviewed the 2 choices for fulfilling this requirement which were:

  • Established Quality Improvement Projects:  Where you collaborate with other groups and practices.  Lots and lots of moving wheels.
  • Web Based Improvement Activities: These seem to be off the shelf activities conducted within your practice and presumes you will want to do this with in conjunction with the other physicians in your practice.

 

The other day I tried to make sense of this part of the MOC process.  I stared and read it over and over until my mind went blank.  The next thing I remember was sitting at Brazilian Steakhouse  and some guy named Raul was serving me sliced Turkey from a cutting  board at my table.  I guess I was so traumatized that I must have suffered retrograde amnesia. [2]  Therefore I will have to cover this in greater detail when I return to this part of the MOC requirement as I tackle it myself.

 

Coming Attractions

 

In the future, patient surveys will be added to the mix. Yes!  Patient surveys handed out to parents who will provide their opinion of communication style and availability.  It is not yet clear if you will have to hand this out randomly, or cherry pick your favorite patients for their input.  As if there aren’t enough challenges, practicing medicine will become American Idol where you will have to perform for a panel of judges. What’s next?  Patients commenting on your doctoring skills on your Facebook® wall and hitting “Like” buttons?

 

We will keep you posted when and if you will have to face such a tribunal!

 

For me the process began with what seemed like a bombardment of some 300 email and snail mail letters that I ignored until I realized those ignored letters is not good for my professional standing with the board.  I was also thankful that the ABP has not discovered Facebook® or Twitter® where I would sure to face the electronic equivalent of being placed in the public stocks.

 

Qualify to Enroll

 

I had until December last year to “qualify” to enroll in the MOC process, s I finally took the first steps to “qualify” for the enrollment process.  Up until that moment, as the author of “Surfing your Way to Recertification”, I have been receiving calls, emails and, yes, Facebook messages from friends asking about the process.  Much to my shock, when replying to my friends, I found myself stammering and changing the topic to the weather or local traffic reports. Until then I couldn’t give first hand advice and guidance.

 

In order to qualify I had to get through Parts 2 and 4.  Part 1, providing proof that I had a medical license which was easy enough.  Then again, if you don’t have a medical license why would you be going through all of this torture?

 

Over the coming weeks, we will muck through the MOC process together.  Unlike the ABP, we actually are familiar with Facebook ® and Twitter®, and I invite you to “like” us on Facebook and “follow our Tweets” on Twitter®.  We also want to note that this blog and our materials will help you get through and demystify the process.[3]



[1] Which makes this all even more convoluted and confusing, since they are 2 activities why not just assign them each an independent number. ?

[2] Folks, this was inserted the sake of humor,  it didn’t really happen so please do not write us to let us know that you had the same experience, as you might be better served seeking psychiatric assistance if that is the case.  

[3] We are not here to provide inside information on questions asked on the exam, answers to the questions, or otherwise reveal any other part of the MOC process, or the exact areas of knowledge that will be tested. We do welcome general feedback and shared experiences going through the process, but are not looking for nor will we be accepting such exam specific information.