The American Board of Anesthesiology

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MOCA Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

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1. Why should I participate in MOCA?

All ABA diplomates may participate in MOCA.

Time-Limited Certification:
If you were certified in or after 2000, your certification is time-limited. When you receive primary certification, you are automatically enrolled in the MOCA program to allow you the full 10-year period to meet all MOCA requirements.

Non-Time Limited Certification:
Diplomates certified before 2000 hold non-time-limited certificates and are encouraged to voluntarily participate in MOCA. You may want or need to demonstrate your continuing qualifications now or in the future, for example, to meet a state medical board's licensure requirements.

2. How do I enroll in MOCA?

Diplomates certified in 2000 or later are automatically enrolled in the MOCA program as soon as they receive primary certification. This allows them the full 10-year period to meet all MOCA requirements. There is no enrollment fee.

Non-Time Limited:
You may enroll online through your personal portal account. There is no enrollment fee.

3. How much will MOCA cost?

There is a single fee that diplomates must pay for each 10-year MOCA cycle. This fee, due upon registration for the Cognitive Examination, covers the administration of the MOCA program for the entire 10-year period and one opportunity to take the Cognitive Examination. Please click here to view current MOCA fees.

If you paid an application fee at the time you enrolled in the MOCA program, $250 will be automatically credited toward your first MOCA fee.

4. Will I lose my diplomate status if I don't participate in MOCA?

Yes! Your certification will expire, and you will no longer be Board Certified (nor in the Examination System). The ABA will reinstate your certified status when you complete all MOCA Program requirements.

Non-Time Limited:
No! If you were certified before 2000, the certificate the ABA issued to you is not time-limited and does not have an expiration date. Participation in the MOCA program is voluntary and does not jeopardize your status as an ABA diplomate. If, for any reason, you do not satisfy the MOCA program requirements you will retain your status as an ABA diplomate because you hold a non-time limited certificate.

5. What happens if I don't complete MOCA in 10 years (Time-Limited)?

If your requirements have not all been met at the end of 10 years, your time-limited ABA certification will expire. In order to regain your certification, the ABA will move your 10-year MOCA cycle forward one-year. Any activities completed in your original year 1 (like CME credits) will be removed and you will be required to redo those activities. Upon successful completion of the year 1 activities and any other activities you did not complete in the first 10 year cycle, the ABA will issue you a MOCA certificate valid for 10 years from the date of completion of the program. Please note that the ABA will move a MOCA cycle forward, one year at a time, for up to three years.

At the end of the three years, if the MOCA program requirements have not been completed, you will have to restart the primary certification process by completing the following steps:

  1. Submitting a new application to enter the ABA examination system.
  2. Taking and passing the primary certification Part 1 and Part 2 Examinations under the same application.

Upon successful completion of the primary certification process, you will re-attain "diplomate" status and will be issued a new time-limited certificate.

6. How long will my certificate be valid?

The certificate for Maintenance of Certification in the specialty of Anesthesiology will be valid for at most 10 years.

Information by MOCA Part

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Part 1. Professional Standing

1. Why does my MOCA Progress Report show "U" for Professional Standing?

Your Professional Standing may be unsatisfactory for one of two reasons:

  1. You have restrictions* on one or more of your medical licenses.
  2. All of your medical licenses are unrestricted but the ABA does not have an unexpired, unrestricted medical license on file for you. You will need to click on “Update your medical license information” on your Portal Account and provide the ABA with a valid expiration date for any active medical licenses you hold. Your Professional Standing will change to “S” for satisfactory once the ABA verifies your medical license.

* The ABA defines a restriction as the revocation, suspension or surrender in lieu of revocation or suspension.

2. Do I have to tell the ABA about actions taken against my medical license(s)?

Yes, ABA candidates for initial certification and ABA diplomates must advise the ABA of any and all restrictions placed on any of their medical licenses. They must provide the ABA with complete information concerning such restrictions within 60 days after their imposition.

Such information shall include, but not be limited to, the identity of the State Medical Board imposing the restriction as well as the restriction's duration, basis, and specific terms and conditions. Candidates and diplomates discovered not to have made disclosure may be subject to sanctions on their candidate or diplomate status.

ABA candidates and diplomates can report medical licensure actions via their personal portal account, as well as by mailing or faxing a letter with the pertinent information.

Part 2. Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment

1.What is the difference between Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment?
  • Lifelong Learning activities are designed to increase your knowledge (e.g., lectures and conferences).
  • Self-Assessment activities are designed to help you determine your current level of knowledge (e.g., question and answer activities).

2. Will I get credit for my current CME activities?

Time Limited
Yes, you may receive credit for CME activities completed after the date you were certified.

Non-Time Limited
Yes, you may receive credit for CME activities completed within the 10 year MOCA cycle. The 10 year MOCA cycle is calculated by taking the year in which the diplomate wants to complete the MOCA program and looking back 10 years in time.

3. Can I get CME credit for Board Certification or Subspecialty Certification?

The ABA will not grant CME credit for specialty or subspecialty certification.

However, the ABA will grant 50 CME credits towards the Category 1 CME requirement for 12 months of fellowship training in an ACGME-accredited subspecialty program, or in an anesthesiology subspecialty fellowship program sponsored by an ACGME-accredited core anesthesiology program. In order to receive credit toward the MOCA program, you need to have completed the fellowship in or after the year you received your primary certification in Anesthesiology from the ABA.

4. What kind of activities can I report as Category 1 CME?

The ABA will grant full credit only for Category 1 CME from sponsors approved by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or eligible for Category 1 credit from the American Medical Association's Physician Recognition Award (PRA) Program.

Additionally, the ABA will grant CME Category 1 credit for CME activities approved as Category 1-A by the American Osteopathic Association.

5. What kind of activities can I report as Other CME?

The ABA will grant full "Other - Documented" CME credits for documented CME activities sponsored by organizations that are not ACCME or AMA PRA Category 1 accredited (e.g., foreign CME).

The ABA will grant a maximum of five "Other - Undocumented" CME credits for CME activities that are not sponsored (e.g., yearly committee membership, individual publications, individual lectures, monthly journal readings).

6. Do all CME credits have to be Category 1 CME?

You may receive up to 100 CME credits for activities that are not Category 1 CME.

7. Will I have to complete CME activities every year?

There are no yearly minimum requirements for CME activities. However, diplomates participating in MOCA must complete CME activities in at least 5 of the 10 years in the MOCA cycle. You will receive a maximum of 70 CME credits per year for all CME completed on or after January 1, 2006.

8. Can I "bundle" related activities and report them as one activity?

Yes, as long as the sponsor of the activity is the same and the activities are completed in the same calendar year. You can total the amount of credit you receive for a recurring activity and report completion on a monthly, quarterly, biannual, or annual basis.

9. Will the ABA audit my CME activities?

Yes, all diplomates participating in MOCA will be audited at least once during their 10 year cycle. The ABA will identify the CME activities you reported during the year of the audit and the two previous years and request that you submit supporting documentation. Please do not submit documentation to the ABA until we request this information from you.

10. Why are there CME activities in my account that I did not report?

Third-party CME providers may submit CME activities and credits to the ABA electronically for ABA diplomates. The ABA will import the activities into your account. The provider reported activities are displayed in red in your CME activity listing.

Part 3. Cognitive Examination

1. When can I take the Cognitive Examination?

You may take the Cognitive Examination as early as year 7 of the 10 year MOCA cycle if you have completed all of the required prerequisites. The examination is generally given during a two week period in both January and July. Please note that you do not need to wait until the end of the 10-year cycle to take it.

If you choose to take the examination before year 10 of your MOCA cycle, you will not lose time on your certification. Your next MOCA cycle will start at the end of your 10-year cycle once you have completed all MOCA requirements, regardless of how early you take the examination.

2. Will my certificate be valid for 10 years from the date I pass the Examination?

The Cognitive Examination is only one of four components of the MOCA program, so regardless of when you fulfill the examination requirement, the earliest you will receive a MOCA certificate is the day after your current certificate expires.

3. Where do I take the Cognitive Examination?

As of January 2008, the Cognitive Examination is given at Pearson VUE testing centers all over the United States.

4. How much will the Cognitive Examination cost?

Please click here to view the current MOCA fees.

If you paid an application fee at the time you enrolled in the MOCA program, $250 will be automatically credited toward your first MOCA fee.

5. How do I qualify for the Cognitive Examination?
  • Maintain satisfactory Professional Standing (medical licensure).
  • Diplomates certified in 2004 or later must have at least 200 CME credits granted toward the total of 350.
  • Have one satisfactory Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement activity completed.

Click here to view your specific requirements by year certified.

6. How do I register to take the Cognitive Examination?

If you have met all of the qualifications to appear for the Cognitive Examination, the ABA will send you a letter at least 2 months before the date of the examination. At that time you will be asked to respond to the examination announcement and submit the MOCA fee online via your portal account. Additionally, within 4 weeks of the ABA receiving your completed registration and MOCA fee payment, information will be emailed to you on how to schedule your exam date, time and location with a Pearson VUE test site.

7. What should I do to study for the examination?

The ABA does not sponsor or make recommendations regarding review courses, study material, etc. Available on the ABA website is an Examination Content Outline, as well as an Examination Tutorial. The tutorial can be downloaded to your computer and shows the format of the computer-based examination.

8. How long is the examination?

The examination is administered at computer testing centers and is comprised of 200 multiple choice questions, of which the content is approximately:

150 questions in General Anesthesia

50 questions divided among: Pediatric Anesthesia, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, Neuroanesthesia, Critical Care Medicine, Obstetrical/Gynecologic Anesthesia, and Pain Medicine.

You will be required to answer all questions to complete the examination and will have 4 hours to do so.

Part 4. Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement

1. Is there a specific order in which I need to complete these activities?

Diplomates certified in 2008 or later can complete the Case Evaluation and Simulation Education in any order. You must complete one activity in years 1-5 and the other in years 6-10 of your MOCA cycle. Both activities must be completed in your 10-year cycle. An attestation will be due in year 9.

2. Are there core aspects common to all MOCA simulation courses?

The ASA Committee on Simulation Education, in conjunction with the ABA, has established core curricular components for all simulation courses that are taken to satisfy ABA requirements. These include:

  • 6 hours minimum of total course instruction
  • Required active participation in realistic simulation scenarios
  • Post‐scenario peer debriefing
  • Management of difficult patient‐care scenarios
  • An emphasis on teamwork & communication
  • All participants have at least one opportunity to be the primary anesthesiologist‐in‐charge
  • One instructor must be an ABA diplomate
  • Instructor‐to‐student ratio is no greater than 1:5

3. Will I get CME credit as well as MOCA credit?

MOCA credit is independent of CME credit. Some centers may elect to provide CME credit. Contact the center where you will take the course for specific CME information about their courses.

4. Will my performance during the course be evaluated?

This is not a pass/fail exam, but an experiential learning opportunity that is designed to stimulate practice improvement. Your performance during the course will be reviewed during the instructor‐facilitated peer debriefing. However, you will not receive a formal, written evaluation of your performance.

5. How do I sign up for a simulation course?

Visit the ASA website at for the full list of Simulation Education Network centers that offer simulation‐based training.

6. How do I complete an attestation?

To fulfill the attestation requirement, you must complete an online form through your ABA personal portal account to provide information on your clinical activity and attest to your practice improvement activities. You will also be required to submit three references to confirm your clinical activities. Click here for complete instructions.