The American Board of Anesthesiology has been surprisingly progressive in their reforms of the anesthesia Maintenance of Certification (MOCA) process. Ahead of other medical specialties, the ABA has done away with the nonsensical Part 3 Simulation exam and the much feared and despised recertification exam at the end of each certification period.
Instead the ABA has instituted a new program called MOCA 2.0. Instead of a once a decade pass/fail exam that could potentially ruin one's career, the ABA started the MOCA Minute. It's an annual series of 120 computerized questions that one takes at home that after ten years is equivalent to the previous recertification test. It's essentially open book without all the intimidation and expense of the previous exam. Only thirty questions can be answered each quarter to prevent people from doing it all at the end of the year. After doing my first MOCA Minute, my verdict is that I like it.
It is very easy to register for MOCA 2.0. Basically they want your credit card information. Then each quarter the ABA will send you reminders to take the MOCA Minute. I received a couple of emails from them before I got around to taking the test. The questions are pretty easy. There is a gimmicky countdown clock that ticks down 60 seconds as soon as each question pops up. I don't know the purpose of this timer since just reading the questions and the multiple choices takes longer than one minute. There is no penalty for taking as long as necessary to answer a question. After you answer it, it will instantly tell you if you answered correctly and give a brief explanation of the answer. Again there is no penalty for answering wrong. It took about one hour to go through all thirty questions and explanations. It gets easier as you go along since several questions and topics repeat themselves. Thus the percent of correct answers go up the more questions that are taken.
This process is a much more relevant way for anesthesiologists to maintain their medical knowledge and certification. It does away with the intimidation and expense of the previous recertification. Is it perfect? I think there are a couple of areas that could be improved upon. First get rid of that 60 second timer. It is not relevant at all to the exam. I think it is only there because of the name MOCA Minute. The MOCA Minute ideally should count towards one's CME requirements. Right now I still need to purchase CME tests for the CME requirements for recertification and state medical licensure. If I'm already spending time reading and learning, why doesn't the MOCA Minute count towards my CME requirements? It isn't just about the money, is it? Finally please get ride of Part 4 of MOCA 2.0. It's purpose is nebulous and just adds more tedium to the already onerous recertification process.
Thank you ABA for listening and acting on the concerns of your members. Your proactive approach to the maelstrom that is angering physicians nationwide should be emulated by the other medical boards.