Medical physicists who were certified in 2002 or later, as well as those who become certified in the future, are enrolled in Maintenance of Certification. Many physicists with life-time certificates have voluntarily enrolled in MOC, as have physicists who volunteer their time to participate in the ABR exam development and administration processes.
MOC consists of four components: Part 1, Professional standing; Part 2, Lifelong learning and self-assessment; Part 3, Cognitive expertise; and Part 4, Practice quality improvement. These four components together evaluate six competencies: Medical knowledge, patient care and procedural skills, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice.
Parts 1, 2, and 3 of MOC are fairly straightforward, although many participants have questions about the process for attesting to professional standing, the opportunities for obtaining self-assessed continuing education, and the timing of the cognitive exam. MOC participants also have questions about Part 4, Practice Quality Improvement. PQI projects are powerful tools for improving the quality and safety of the environments in which we practice medical physics. In the current version of MOC known as “Continuous Certification” a medical physicist must have completed a PQI project within the previous three years, at the time of the ABR's annual look-back each March. For the first “full” annual look-back in March 2016, diplomates will be given an additional year, so that a PQI project completed in 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015 will fulfill this requirement.
Each component of MOC will be addressed, and the specifics of interest to medical physicists will be discussed.
- 1.Understand the four components and six competencies evaluated by MOC.
- 2.Become familiar with the annual requirements of Continuous Certification.
- 3.Learn about opportunities for Practice Quality Improvement projects.
- 4.Understand refinements occurring in the MOC program.