ATS 2017 to Remain Rich Source of MOC Points

March 1, 2017 at 12:00 am

ATS Education and International Conference Committee Work Together to Ensure Attendees Can Earn at Least as Many MOC Points, Despite ABIM and ABP Changes

Debra Boyer, MD, and Zea Borok, MD, the chairs of the ATS Education and International Conference committees, respectively, recently discussed changes the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics have made to Maintenance of Certification requirements. They focused on how the ATS has responded so that attendees of its International Conference can earn at least as many MOC points during the conference as they have in the past.

The following edited excerpt is from the discussion.  Listen to the full discussion here.

What changes in MOC did the specialty boards make?

Dr. Boyer:  They’re collaborating with the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education so that this year, the ACCME will grant the credits through the corresponding subspecialty board. So this simplifies the process for them and for ATS, but the downside is that it does result in, for example, our core curriculum offering fewer MOC points per hour of lecture.

The core curriculum at the International Conference was started several years ago in response to then changing MOC requirements. Can you describe that curriculum? 

Dr. Boyer: The core curriculum occurs in four areas—adult pulmonary medicine, adult critical care medicine, sleep medicine, and pediatrics. These are sessions offered throughout the International Conference on specific core topics that rotate every three or four years. Attendees can listen to the lectures and then take a post-test and get MOC credit.

But this year, ATS 2017 attendees will earn fewer MOC points for core sessions?

Dr. Boyer: Correct. This year an MOC point is going to equal the CME point—so it’s really a point an hour. It used to be that in the pediatrics core, you could earn up to 10 MOC points. Now, you can earn only eight. And there are similar decreases in the adults cores as well These changes, by the way, don’t affect previously earned MOC points.

How has the ATS made it possible to still earn as many MOC points during this year’s International Conference as attendees have done in the past?

Dr. Borok: The International Conference Committee has been working with the Education Committee to address the shortfall in points that will be credited to the core curriculum by making 22 regular symposia eligible for either ABIM or ABP MOC points. As a result, attendees will actually be able to earn more ABIM MOC points than previously—46.5 points this year compared to 30 in previous years. The total ABP MOC points offered at ATS 2017 will remain the same at 10 points.

Will these MOC point-bearing symposia be scheduled throughout the conference, or just on certain days?

Dr. Borok: They will be held throughout the conference, extending from Sunday through Wednesday, and will be advertised on the website beginning around mid-April and in the conference App, as well as in the Final Program and signage throughout the conference.

If attendees want to earn MOC points, what should they do?

Dr. Borok: People will be notified before the conference to take a pretest for all the sessions that they are interested in attending. This typically happens in mid-April. You can attend as many symposia that you want to earn MOC points, but the most important thing is that, even if there is an audience response system in the session you’re attending, to get the credit you must take the post-test at the end of the conference, otherwise you will not receive credit for the MOC points.

What’s the typical format of the post-test?

Dr. Boyer: The sessions that are open for MOC will have questions embedded throughout each of the talk.  After the conference, the attendee will then go online to take the post-test, which generally will consist of anywhere from four to six questions that the attendee will need to review and answer correctly.

Many physicians are concerned about Maintenance of Certification. How has the ATS worked to convey their concerns to the subspecialty boards?

Dr. Boyer: Beyond the Education Committee’s interactions with the subspecialty boards, the ATS at the highest level, including the Board of Directors, has worked to keep a pretty open line of communication with ABIM and ABP so that we can tell them what works and what doesn’t. By being pro-active, I think we are able to ensure that our members continue to gain MOC credit through multiple avenues.



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