Continuing Medical Education or CME is a method for all medical professionals to stay updated in the latest technologies and discoveries in their field of choice. This is very important because medical science is an ever changing science, and what was true while you were still in school may not necessarily be considered to be helpful now. MOCA or Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology is an on-going process of assessment of one’s medical licensure specifically for anesthesiologists.
The concept of Maintenance of Certification started in 1999 with the ABMS or the American Board of Medical Specialties. Because ABA or the American Board of Anesthesiology is a member of ABMS, they implemented MOC activities. It was also a way for ABA to prove that they were committed to making certain that all their professional members strive for quality patient care as well as clinical outcomes. As I said, MOCA is a program that requires life-long commitment to the maintenance and improvement of an anesthesiologist’s quality of work. Only after a diplomate completes all MOCA requirements within ten years will he be awarded with a certificate for MOCA and be allowed to continue to practice in the specialty and subspecialty of anesthesia.
The MOCA program has four parts and this is where continuing medical education comes in. The first part is the professional standing assessment. In order for a diplomate to complete this part, he or she must maintain an active and unrestricted license to practice his or her profession in at least one part of the United States or Canada. The second part is the lifelong learning and self-assessment. As a diplomate, you must dedicate yourself to engage in continuing medical education with a total of 350 credits; at least 250 of those should be Category 1 credits. The third part is the cognitive expertise assessment. In this part, a diplomate must successfully complete an online test prepared and provided by ABA. A third of the test will be regarding general anesthesia and the rest will cover subspecialties in the field. The fourth and final part is the practice performance assessment and improvement; here a diplomate will be assessed in his performance in the clinical area either by peer review or case evaluation and simulation.
Although continuing medical education is only technically required in the second part of the MOCA program, it is necessary in the completion of the rest of the parts. If you look closely, continuing medical education is still required on the third and fourth part of the program wherein you will be tested on your knowledge and skills. With proper CME, you can ensure that you stay up-to-date with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide quality service.