The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) is a nonprofit corporation that was founded in 1934. The mission of the ABPN is to develop and provide valid and reliable procedures for certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) in psychiatry and neurology by:
The Board consists of neurologists, who are nominated by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the American Neurological Association (ANA), and Neurology Directors, and psychiatrists, who are nominated by the American College of Psychiatrists (ACP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Psychiatry Directors.
In 2011, Dr. Michael J. Aminoff was Chair of the Board, and Dr. Victor I. Reus was Vice Chair. Dr. Larry R. Faulkner is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Board.
Vision 20/20: The Road to an Effective ABPN
Year 1 of the Board's strategic plan, Vision 20/20, was completed in July 2011. The plan addresses these strategic areas: governance and administration, financial management, communication, research, technology and information, core competencies, computerized examinations, subspecialties, and MOC. Progress was summarized in a “report card” that was reviewed by the Board of Directors at their September 2011 meeting.
As described in more detail elsewhere in this report, the MOC program was a major focus of activity, including outreach efforts to psychiatry and neurology organizations to encourage development of MOC products and communication with the Board's diplomates via e-mail, presentations and information booths at professional meetings, and publications in professional journals. For the first time, candidates and diplomates were surveyed about their experiences with obtaining information about and applying for examinations and setting up on-line folios, and the responses were generally very positive. Residency training program directors were surveyed about their satisfaction with the resident tracking system, and they were also generally positive. Nine core competency outlines were revised and posted on ABPN's website. They were psychiatry, neurology, addiction psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, clinical neurophysiology, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and vascular neurology.
Barbara Schneidman, M.D., chairs the Strategic Planning Committee, which also includes Drs. Larry Faulkner, Robert Golden, Laurie Gutmann, George Keepers, Noor Pirzada, Robert Ronis, Kailie Shaw, and Ann Tilton and Ms. Pat Janda.
ABPN Moves to a Continuous Lifelong Learning Program: The Continuous Pathway to MOC (CP-MOC)
The MOC Program: background.
The ABPN MOC Program reflects the Board's commitment to lifelong learning throughout one's profession. The mission of ABPN's MOC Program is to advance the clinical practice of psychiatry and neurology by promoting the highest evidence-based guidelines and standards to ensure excellence in all areas of care and practice improvement.
In keeping with the evolving nature of the MOC requirements for all physicians, the ABPN must remain consistent with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) guidelines. In sensing the growing threats from outside the medical field, the ABMS determined that ABMS specialists within every discipline should be required to meet the highest standards of quality patient health care. In response, the ABMS designed the MOC process. The goal of MOC is for diplomates to reflect on their personal knowledge and performance and commit to a process of improvement and reevaluation of performance measures over a specified time frame that will ultimately lead to improved care for their patients.
Every specialty board within the ABMS adheres to four components in their individual programs. The four components are designed to assess important physician characteristics: professional standing (part I), self-assessment and continuous medical education (part II), cognitive expertise (part III), and performance in practice (part IV). These components are outlined in detail on the ABPN website (www.abpn.com), along with a list of ABPN-approved MOC products for self-assessment, CME, and performance in practice.
CP-MOC: reporting and reminders.
Beginning in 2012, diplomates who pass their initial certification or MOC examination will enter into the Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning. Diplomates who passed their initial certification or MOC examination before 2012 will not be required to participate in this program, but they may elect to do so.
This year, ABPN is required to begin reporting diplomates as either meeting or not meeting MOC requirements. Lifetime certificate holders will be listed as “certified but not meeting MOC requirements.” There will be a special note that meeting MOC requirements is not mandatory for lifetime certificate holders. However, lifetime certificate holders may elect to enter the CP-MOC Program by passing an MOC cognitive examination in their specialty.
The CP-MOC Program will assist diplomates in complying with MOC requirements and time frames to facilitate the required annual recording and reporting of diplomate MOC participation. Instead of a larger fee at the time of the MOC examination, diplomates will pay a much smaller annual fee. This annual fee covers participation in ABPN Physician Folios and includes one MOC cognitive examination in a 10-year period.
The focal point of the Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning Program is the ABPN Physician Folios, which offers a single source for personalized information regarding certification and MOC status. There is a large catalog of ABPN-approved MOC products in self-assessment, CME, and performance in practice listed on the ABPN website. We strongly recommend that diplomates use ABPN-approved products to ensure that they meet ABPN MOC Program requirements. For protection against incorrectly advertised MOC products, a diplomate will be required to utilize only ABPN-approved products beginning in 2014. This policy change was made in response to diplomates' frustration at misleading advertised products.
While passing the cognitive examination is still required at least every 10 years, a diplomate's certification status is dependent upon fulfillment of all four MOC Program components (professional standing, self-assessment and CME, cognitive expertise, and performance in practice), along with annually logging into ABPN's Physician Folios and payment of an annual MOC registration fee.
The ABPN continues to monitor the landscape and gather feedback from our diplomates on the MOC Program. The ABPN strives to give MOC credit to diplomates who are already participating in practice improvement activities that meet the ABPN MOC Program requirements.
Some examples of ABPN responses to diplomates' feedback on MOC include:
Our acceptance of institutional quality assurance programs and patient surveys that meet our requirements;
Our plan to ultimately provide part IV credit for team projects completed at institutions that join a formal institutional recognition program;
Our plan to give credit for one stage of MOC activities for diplomates who complete Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited/ABPN-approved subspecialty training and pass an ABPN subspecialty examination.
Visit our website for the most current ABPN MOC information, ABPN Physician Folios, and ABPN-approved MOC products at: www.abpn.com/moc.
2011 ABPN Diplomates
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|Specialty/Subspecialty||Lifetime Certificates||Time-Limited Certificates||Total Count|
|Child and adolescent psychiatry||22||1,099||1,121|
The ABMS is a not-for-profit organization comprising 24 medical specialty member boards. The mission of the ABMS is to maintain and improve the quality of medical care by assisting its member boards in developing and implementing professional and educational standards for the certification of physician specialists. The intent of both initial certification of physicians and MOC is to provide assurance to the public that a physician specialist certified by a member board of the ABMS has successfully completed an approved educational program and evaluation process that is designed to access the medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, and clinical and communication skills required to provide quality patient care in that specialty. The ABMS coordinates the activities of its member boards and provides information to the public, the government, the profession, and its members concerning issues involving certification of physicians.
The ABPN continues its active involvement in the ABMS. The following ABPN directors, emeritus directors, and staff serve as delegates and on committees and task forces:
Michael J. Aminoff, M.D., D.Sc.: Delegate; Chair, ABPN Delegation; International Design Team
Patricia K. Crumrine, M.D.: Alternate Delegate
Larry R. Faulkner, M.D.: Delegate; Computer-Based Testing Task Force; International Design Team; Organizational Recognition Program (ABMS/Mayo Joint Working Group)
Robert W. Guynn, M.D.: Delegate
Patricia Janda: Board Staff Council; Planning Committee for annual meeting
Ralph F. Józefowicz, M.D.: Surgical/Procedure Database Work Group; ABMS Registry Design Team
Dorthea Juul, Ph.D.: Committee on Research and Evaluation Procedures; Psycho-metric Advisory Group
Janice M. Massey, M.D.: Delegate
David A. Mrazak, M.D.: Organizational Recognition Program (ABMS/Mayo Joint Working Group)
Burton V. Reifler, M.D., M.P.H.: Committee on Oversight and Monitoring of MOC
Victor I. Reus, M.D.: Delegate; International Design Team
Robert J. Ronis, M.D., M.P.H.: Alternate Delegate
Barbara S. Schneidman, M.D., M.P.H.: Board of Directors; Executive Committee of the Board of Directors; Ethics and Professionalism Committee; Chair, Officer Services Committee; State Education Outreach Work Group; Research and Education Foundation Board of Directors
Ann Tilton, M.D.: Alternate Delegate
Patricia Vondrak: MOCNet
Paul Whittington: Board Staff Council, Communicators Network; MS Technology Network
The ABPN administered 34 computer-based specialty and subspecialty certification and MOC examinations in 2011. Twelve modular MOC examinations were administered to 72 ABPN diplomates. Approximately 6,843 test takers took ABPN computer-based examinations at Pearson VUE testing centers.
The certification examination in neurodevelopmental disabilities was administered to four ABPN diplomates and three American Board of Pediatrics diplomates. The MOC examination in neurodevelopmental disabilities was administered to 12 ABPN diplomates and 80 American Board of Pediatrics diplomates. The certification examination in neuromuscular medicine was administered to 223 ABPN diplomates and 39 American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation diplomates.
Three additional subspecialty examinations were administered by other ABMS boards. The American Board of Anesthesiology administered certification and MOC pain medicine examinations; 18 ABPN diplomates sat for certification, and 17 sat for MOC. The American Board of Internal Medicine administered the certification examination in sleep medicine to 628 ABPN diplomates.
The ABPN administered psychiatry, neurology, and child neurology oral examinations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Portland, Ore., and Cleveland. The child and adolescent psychiatry oral examination was held in Milwaukee. A total of 2,402 candidates took the oral examinations.
2011 Examination Results
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|Examinations||Number Passing||Total Candidates||Percent Passing|
|Part I: Psychiatry||627||1,023||61%|
|Part II: Psychiatry||1,361||1,758||77%|
|Part II: Neurology||96||157||61%|
|Part II: Child neurology||12||20||60%|
|Child neurology certification||90||125||72%|
|Child and adolescent psychiatry (computer)||390||423||92%|
|Child and adolescent psychiatry (oral)||358||467||77%|
|Maintenance of certification (MOC) psychiatry||900||904||99%|
|MOC child neurology||53||54||98%|
|MOC addiction psychiatry||22||25||88%|
|MOC child and adolescent psychiatry||186||187||99%|
|MOC clinical neurophysiology (general, EEG, electromyograph)||91||95||96%|
|MOC forensic psychiatry||60||62||97%|
|MOC geriatric psychiatry||161||168||96%|
|MOC neurodevelopmental disabilities||12||12||100%|
|MOC pain medicine||17||17||100%|
ABPN directors and staff participated in the meetings of constituent organizations and met with the leadership and membership of several of them to present information on MOC.
American Academy of Neurology
American Association for Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine
American Clinical Neurophysiology Society
American Epilepsy Society
American Neurological Association
Child Neurology Society
Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine
American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American Psychiatric Association
Case Western Reserve University Clinical Faculty Meeting (Ronis)
Grand Rounds at Cleveland Clinic Department of Neurology (Levin)
Grand Rounds at Duke University (Massey)
Grand Rounds at Oregon Health and Science University (Keepers)
Grand Rounds at University of California, San Francisco Department of Neurology (Józefowicz)
Institute of Psychiatric Services (Reus)
Iowa Psychiatric Society (Keepers)
Minnesota Psychiatric Society (Schneidman)
Psychiatric Society of Central Ohio (Stagno)
Texas Neurological Society (Pirzada)
Tulane Brain and Behavior Conference (Faulkner)
Virginia Neurological Society (Massey)
Wisconsin Psychiatric Association Career Development Conference (Ronis)
In 2011, ABPN directors and staff made presentations at many annual meetings and other gatherings (1–6). They also produced several publications (7–11).