Continuing Certification Research

Published: ABPMR Research on Predictors of Successful MOC Examination Performance

Summary by Sherilyn W Driscoll

Maintenance of certification (MOC) in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is a process of lifelong learning that begins after successfully completing a PM&R residency and passing the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR) Part I and Part II Examinations. This study compared factors that would predict successful MOC Examination performance. We retrospectively reviewed the results from 4,545 de-identified diplomates who completed the MOC Examination between January 2006 and December 2017 and with Part I and Part II initial certification data, year of MOC cycle in which examination was taken, years of practice since residency completion, age, and subspecialty certification.

The age at time of MOC Examination was inversely correlated with examination score. As time since completion of residency training increased, MOC scores declined. Passing the Part I Examination on first attempt predicted a 98% MOC pass rate, compared to 90% for those who failed initially. MOC performance was highly correlated with Part I and Part II performance. Although MOC performance was similar for those taking the examination in years 7- 10 of their cycle (97% pass rate), those taking the examination after more than 10 years of the cycle had a significantly lower performance (85% pass rate).

Conclusions: Better performance on the MOC Examination is associated with better performance on Part I and Part II Examinations, taking the examination earlier in the 10 year cycle, younger age, and less time since completion of training. Diplomates who are at higher risk for failing the examination may need to prepare differently for MOC Exam than those who are more likely to pass.

In the “Ask the Author” section, a senior editor of PM&R posed several questions such as why we thought the results turned out the way they did and what this has to do with the new MOC model currently in pilot phase. As Dr Kennedy mentions, the concept of lifelong learning is imperative as is the physician’s abilities change over time and the need for some form of quality assurance. Certlink, the PM&R MOC longitudinal assessment currently being studied, shifts emphasis from a summative examination to an ongoing learning experience, with immediate feedback in the customized areas most important to the diplomate’s practice.

Click on the link below to read the abstract or download the full article.

Predictors of Performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Maintenance of Certification Examination

Driscoll, S. W., Geis, C. C., Raddatz, M. M., Kinney, C. L. and Robinson, L. R. (2018), Predictors of Performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Maintenance of Certification Examination. PM&R, 10: 1361-1365. doi:10.1016/j.pmrj.2018.06.009

Originally Published: August 17, 2018