ABMS Announces New Standards for Continuing Certification

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the leading nonprofit organization that oversees physician certification in the United States, recently approved new Standards for Continuing Certification. The new standards are designed to guide the ABMS member boards — like the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) — as they work to improve their continuing certification programs.

Dr. David Nichols“Prior to the development of the standards, the ABP had already incorporated most of them into our continuing certification program,” says David G. Nichols, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the ABP. Dr. Nichols also sat on the ABMS Board of Directors. “Because of this, our Maintenance of Certification [MOC] requirements for pediatricians will not need to change to meet the standards.”

The standards represent the culmination of three years of consultation with physicians, professional and state medical societies, consumers, and other public stakeholders from across the health care spectrum. Nearly 100 volunteers were involved, and thousands of individuals and organizations provided feedback on the draft standards during the 80-day public comment period earlier this year.

ABMS standards that the ABP already meets include:

  • Supporting physicians in their pursuit of lifelong learning through innovative longitudinal assessment programs like MOCA-Peds;
  • Recognizing quality and safety improvement activities in which physicians are already engaged;
  • Emphasizing the importance of health equity and reducing health care disparities; and
  • Shortening the MOC cycle time to five years to meet public and patient expectations.

The two standards that the ABP will work to implement in the next few years are 1) primary-source verification of medical licensure and 2) displaying a more robust certification history on our Verification of Certification webpage.

“We know that pediatricians take pride in meeting the highest standards to assure patients, families, and communities that board-certified pediatricians are up to date with current medical practice, and we remain committed to helping them achieve those goals,” adds Dr. Nichols.

For more information about the new ABMS standards, read the ABMS news release.

For more information about continuing certification for pediatricians, visit our Maintenance of Certification webpage or email moc@abpeds.org.