Maintenance of Certification for Cardiology is one way for American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to make certain that all their professionals maintain the quality of service they offer their patients. Technically, however, Cardiologists who hold time-limited certificates need to enroll in MOC in order for them to continue practicing their profession. Therefore, if your certificate was released from 1990 to present, MOC is relevant to you. Those who have certificates for Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Interventional Cardiology need to enroll in MOC too. In a way, MOC is a very effective way to promote CME or continuing medical education among cardiologists.
Maintenance of Certification for Interventional Cardiology is composed of three components: verification of credentials, exam, and self-assessment. Under verification of credentials, a diplomate in cardiology must make sure that he or she remains licensed; and that diplomate must have a good professional and clinical standing. Like any certification process, you are required to take and pass the ABIM Interventional Cardiology Maintenance of Certification examination. A diplomate must also earn a total of 100 points in self-evaluation of practice performance and medical knowledge or 100 CME points. On top of these, a diplomate must also meet the procedural requirements. These procedural requirements include verification of one’s performance as a primary operator, or co-operator of at least 150 percutaneous coronary interventions.
The exam a cardiology diplomate must take is designed to assess one’s knowledge, skills, and clinical judgment. The set of questions in the exam is developed by interventional cardiology specialists both in clinical practice and in academics. The test is scheduled twice a year (one during spring and another in the fall) and is computer-based. The examinee can choose his or her own schedule and exam location. A diplomate can only take the exam starting on the 6th year of certification. Spring MOC exams are scheduled between 1st of December through 28th of February while the Fall MOC exams can be taken from 1st of May through 15th of August. To prepare for the test, there are review materials available online, or one can also participate in various live or video DVD CME activities and board reviews.
Self-evaluation is divided in to two categories: self-evaluation of medical knowledge and self-evaluation of practice performance. Both self-evaluation categories require certain CME points in order to complete this stage. This should not be considered a challenge or a hurdle in your hectic professional life because continuing medical education is the perfect way to increase your skills and knowledge in your field. This is also one of the best ways to ensure that you continue to provide your patients with the best possible service you can offer as their cardiologist.