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ABPN to Pilot New Test Format as Alternative to 10-Year Proctored MOC Exam

Friday, December 8, 2017  
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ABPN to Pilot New Test Format as Alternative to 10-Year Proctored MOC Exam

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) is piloting a new open-book, journal article–based assessment beginning in 2019 as an alternative to the proctored 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) examination.

Eligible diplomates who choose to participate in this pilot program will be required to read and answer questions on between 30 and 40 journal articles. Diplomates may choose from a library of articles that have been selected for the test by the ABPN Pilot Project Test Writing Committees. The pilot project will run for three years, from 2019-2021. If approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the ABPN plans to transition diplomates into this program in 2022 as a permanent alternative to the secure MOC examination. Staff at ABPN say emailed invitations to the new testing option will be delivered next week.

Diplomates who are eligible to participate in the pilot program are those who are currently certified and who fall into one of two categories: those who have earned ABPN certification or who passed the MOC examination in the years 2012, 2013, or 2014 in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, neurology, or child neurology; or those whose certificate is expiring in 2019, 2020, or 2021 in psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, neurology, or child neurology.

APA leaders said that the article-based, open-book test option is an important step in making MOC more flexible.

“Requirements around Maintenance of Certification are among the most prominent concerns of our members, and many have been asking for an alternative to the 10-year, secure, proctored exam,” APA President Anita Everett, M.D., told Psychiatric News. “APA has been advocating for something similar to the open-book journal article–based assessment, and we hope it provides an attractive option for members to consider.”

APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., said the new program “provides more flexibility in terms of diplomates being able to select articles that are relevant to their own practice. It allows diplomates to read the articles and complete the test at their own pace.”

More information about the new test option will appear in an upcoming edition of Psychiatric News. Information on the program is also available on the ABPN website.


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