Why MOC?

Learning Over a Lifetime

The guiding principle of the ABPMR Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program is to foster excellence in patient care by encouraging, stimulating, and supporting physiatrists’ continuing education over a lifetime of practice in PM&R. Here's what your PM&R colleagues have to say about MOC:

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Goals of MOC

Improving our practice, enriching our patients' lives

Based on the Core Competencies set by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the ABPMR MOC Program is designed to:

Foster excellence in patient care

Ease diplomates into a continuous program of lifelong learning and periodic testing

Demonstrate that physicians are maintaining their knowledge and skills over time

Document physicians' ongoing efforts to meet the requirements of certification in PM&R and keep current in the specialty

Provide assurance to the public that ABPMR diplomates maintain and continually improve their knowledge and skills in physiatry

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A Four-Part Model

The ABPMR follows the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) MOC Standards, which comprise four parts:

MOC Part I

Professional Standing

The first requirement for maintaining your ABPMR certification: Professional Standing.

The requirement is met by holding a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine - which means the physician is upholding the professional requirements of that license. However, ABPMR standards of medical professionalism go beyond licensure.

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Tools & Resources



Lifelong Learning & Self-Assessment

Maintaining your certification means keeping up with the latest in the field – and periodically assessing your own knowledge.

Lifelong learning comprises continuing medical education (CME) credits and self-assessment (SA) credits, which should be accumulated from a variety of sources on an ongoing basis.

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Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills

This component of maintaining your certification involves demonstrating that your knowledge – proven at the point of achieving board certification – has remained current with advancements in the field.

Starting in 2020, ABPMR diplomates will participate in longitudinal assessment via the LA PM&R platform to fulfill the knowledge assessment component of MOC.

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Improvement in Medical Practice

All physicians are continually making small changes to improve some aspect of their practice – whether related to office efficiency, improving patient care, enhancing communication, or other improvements.

This component of MOC is about applying measures and timeframes to those improvements to demonstrate how they impact your practice.

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Who Participates in MOC, and What’s the Fee?

The ABPMR implemented its Maintenance of Certification Program in 1993. Since then, there have been a few major changes to the program as the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) implemented standards for all member boards.

All ABPMR diplomates certified in 1993 and later are required to participate in all parts of the MOC Program. In addition, any ABPMR diplomate holding any ABPMR subspecialty certificate is required to participate in all parts of the MOC Program for that subspecialty (this requirement is currently being phased in at each diplomate’s subspecialty recertification).

The current annual fee for all ABPMR diplomates participating in MOC is $200, which helps to cover the cost of administering the MOC Program. This includes maintaining the database that tracks diplomate information, researching and piloting MOC Program innovations (such as LA-PM&R), and providing customer service when diplomates have questions or concerns. The ABPMR is using the next few years to analyze our cost for LA PM&R, including developing questions and supporting the new program; for now, diplomates will continue to pay the $200 annual fee for maintaining certification. The ABPMR will set fees in line with costs to run the program.

The requirements for your MOC Program are based on the year you were certified or recertified. Find out more below.

MOC Requirements

Your MOC Program

Note: For many diplomates, the MOC Part III requirement has changed with the implementation of Longitudinal Assessment for PM&R (LA-PM&R) in 2020. Please see the LA-PM&R information here for more details; all other requirements (license, CME and SA-CME, and PIP) are still part of the MOC Program.

When you pass the ABPMR Part II Examination, you've earned your primary certification in PM&R and are automatically enrolled in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. But because the program has evolved since its inception in 1993, ABPMR MOC Program requirements vary based on the year you were certified or recertified.

MOC Requirements (Certificates Issued Before 2012)

MOC Requirements (Certificates Issued 2012 and Later)