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MOC

General Background Information

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), of which the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS), the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the American Board of Surgery (ABS) are members, now requires a more comprehensive program for Diplomates of the Boards to maintain their certification.

This new program is termed Maintenance of Certification (MOC®) and it will replace the Recertification processes used by the individual Boards.

Why was MOC® developed?

MOC® was developed in response to external pressures from the Public, the Government, the Institute of Medicine, and other groups concerned about the quality of health care in the United States. The once-a-decade written test as a recertification process for physicians is no longer supportable in this era of rapidly changing information and technology. Public demand for greater assurance that physicians remain current and competent has led to the adoption of the MOC® Program by the members of the ABMS.

Each member Board of the ABMS has tailored its requirements for MOC® according to the scope of the Specialty. ABMS approval of the final form of the MOC® program for the individual Boards will occur this year. Implementation of the MOC® programs must occur as soon as possible so that all diplomates are fully participating by 2016.

What will MOC® look like?

MOC® for all medical specialties must evaluate the Four Components that define a competent physician. These include Evidence of Professional Standing, Evidence of Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment, Evidence of Cognitive Expertise, and Evidence of Performance in Practice. Each Board will determine the methods of assessing these competencies for its Diplomates.

How does this impact ASSH members?

The members of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) are certified by one of three member Boards of the ABMS, and will have different requirements for MOC® depending on their parent Board.

ASSH members should be familiar with the MOC® requirements of his or her parent Board. A brief overview of the different requirements for the three involved Boards is presented above. Because the ASSH requires a Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand, known as the “CAQ in Surgery of the Hand,” there are special considerations for ASSH members in the MOC® process. ASSH members should refer to their primary Board for information on MOC. This information is posted on the Board websites.

Prepared by ASSH MOC® Committee
Last updated March 2, 2006

Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand)

Although ASSH requires the successful completion of the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand) for admission to Active membership, ASSH does not administer the exam.

For specific information on the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand), contact the appropriate board:

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) - Administers the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand) to orthopaedic surgeons.

400 Silver Cedar Court
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: (919) 929-7103

Download the ASSH Combined Exam Tip Sheet for ABOS members, prepared by the ASSH's Publications and Products Advisory Committee.

American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) - Administers the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (SOTH) (formerly CAQ Hand) to plastic surgeons.
Seven Penn Center
1635 Market Street, #400
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2204
Phone: (215) 587-9322

Download the ASSH SOTH Exam Tip Sheet for ABPS members, prepared by the ASSH's Publications and Products Advisory Committee.

American Board of Surgery (ABS) - Administers the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand) to general surgeons.

1617 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, #860
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1847
Phone: 215/568-4000

American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS) - Administers the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand) to osteopathic surgeons.

800 Military Street, Suite 307
Port Huron, MI 48060
Phone: 877-982-6267

Subspecialty Certification in Surgery of the Hand (SSC Hand)

The examination for Certification in the Subspecialty of Surgery of the Hand (formerly CAQ Hand) is developed and administered by the Joint Committee on Surgery of the Hand of the American Boards of Orthopaedic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Surgery.* The Examination consists of multiple-choice questions designed to evaluate the candidate’s cognitive knowledge of clinical Hand Surgery and the basic science relevant to Hand Surgery.

Requirements* to take the Subspecialty Certificate in Surgery of the Hand include:

  • General certification by American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery or American Board of Surgery.*
  • Active practice of surgery of the hand for at least two years, in the same location, following the completion of any formal education.
  • Current, valid, registered, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States and/or Canada.
  • Adherence to ethical and professional standards.
  • Active engagement in the practice of hand surgery.
  • Completion of a one year ACGME accredited fellowship in surgery of the hand.
  • Submission of a list of cases of surgery of the hand managed during a consecutive 12 month period within the two years preceding application, in at least six of nine categories.
  • Adherence to all other requirements as set forth by the applicant’s certifying board.

 

*The American Osteopathic Board of Surgery (AOBOS) administers its own version of the exam. Requirements, timing, and test administration are slightly different than the exam given by the other boards. Consult with the AOBOS for specific requirements.

NOTE: Rules and procedures are subject to change. Please consult your certifying board for the most up-to-date information as well as timelines for application.

For more information and/or to apply, contact your certifying board.

 

Print-Ready Resources

Five Bullets of Truth about MOC® and ABOS Response

September 2006 Response to MOC® Member Questions

© 2014 American Society for Surgery of the Hand