Comparison of Subspecialty MOC Options
MOC Options to Fit Your Practice
If you hold both primary and subspecialty certification from the ABPMR, you have options when it comes to maintaining your certifications.
Option 1 - Dual Certification
- Access to longitudinal assessment (CertLink) for primary assessment component, with benefits of learning and self-assessment CME (SA-CME)
- Reciprocity for all parts of MOC except the exam
- Can still say you're certified in PM&R and subspecialty
- Wide array of options for CME/Self-Assessments (both PM&R and subspecialty topics)
- Potentially more costly to maintain both certifications, depending on eventual cost structure of CertLink
Option 2 - Dropping Primary Certification
- Focused practice in subspecialty, focused certification
- Can no longer claim certification in PM&R
- May have negative implications for you due to practice setting/employer credentialing rules
- Cannot become certified in any additional ABPMR subspecialty area (must have primary certification to sit for subspecialty exam)
- Cannot volunteer as an ABPMR examiner or item writer for Part I or Part II Examinations
- Cannot access longitudinal assessment (CertLink) to find knowledge gaps, learn, and earn SA-CME
Guidance For Your Decision
Resources For Subspecialty MOC Options
Who Can Drop Primary Certification?
|Certification Status||Able to Drop APBMR Primary Certification|
|ABPMR diplomate certified in 1993 and later (time-limited certificate) with ABPMR subspecialty||Yes|
|ABPMR diplomate certified before 1993 (non-time-limited certificate) and ABPMR subspecialty||No - cannot drop non-time-limited certification, new MOC participation rules apply|
|Diplomate certified by another ABMS board (time-limited certificate) with ABPMR subspecialty||No – policy only for ABPMR diplomates|
|Diplomate certified by another ABMS board (non-time-limited) with ABPMR subspecialty||No– policy only for ABPMR diplomates|
When and How to Drop Primary Certification
If you've weighed the options and decide dropping primary certification is right for you, here's what you need to do:
If you meet the criteria, you can drop primary certification in the final year of your current primary certificate cycle.
In the final year of your primary certificate, a new link will appear on your secure User Profile Page and choose "Request to Drop Primary Certification." This will lead to an attestation form, which you must submit to the ABPMR to indicate your intention to drop primary certification. If you do not submit this attestation your certificate will simply expire, which means your subspecialty certificates will also expire.