Demystifying maintenance of certification

Ann Emerg Med. 2014 Apr;63(4):467-70. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2013.01.025. Epub 2013 Mar 13.


Board certification for a medical specialty was first proposed in 1908. Subsequently, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) was formed in 1933. The ABMS approved emergency medicine as the 23rd medical specialty in 1979. Since its inception, the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) has always had time-limited certification requiring a recertification examination every 10 years. The notion of recertification has since evolved into maintenance of certification (MOC). I define the various components of the ABEM MOC program. The MOC axioms of continuous professional development and adherence to quality development are discussed. Finally, physician participation in the ABEM MOC is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Certification* / methods
  • Certification* / organization & administration
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / standards
  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Specialty Boards / organization & administration
  • United States