Download the full Frequently Asked Questions document for access to all the questions and answers listed below.
The new Diplomate Questions About the New Pilot Project document also provides additional details.
ABPN announced in September 2017 that it would begin to offer a new journal article-based assessment system as an optional alternative to the current ABPN secure, proctored MOC Part III Examination.
Yes. All other MOC program requirements (CME, Self-Assessment, and PIP) remain the same and must continue to be met by eligible Pilot Project participants. Those in Continuous MOC (C-MOC) must continue to pay the annual fee. Diplomates receive 16 Self-Assessment CME credits for successful completion of the MOC Part III Pilot Project.
ABPN diplomates who are eligible and who volunteer for the Pilot Project will be required to read a minimum of 30 articles but no more than 40 articles and answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly on the first attempt on 30 journal article mini-exams. The questions will be administered in an online, open-book format accessed via the internet from a personal computer.
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The Pilot Project will be offered as an alternative to single MOC examinations in Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP), Neurology, and Child Neurology.
CAP is the only subspecialty offered during the Pilot Project. All other subspecialty examinations will be delivered in the current MOC examination format during the Pilot Project. There will be no combination MOC examination alternatives available during the Pilot Project. The ABPN will work to make all its subspecialties available as quickly as possible upon successful completion of the Pilot Project.
Yes, but the diplomate must meet the Pilot requirements for each certificate. This means a diplomate would need to read and answer five multiple-choice questions on at least 30 but no more than 40 peer-selected and ABPN approved journal articles in Psychiatry and also in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to satisfy the traditional examination requirement for both certificates.
The Pilot Project will run for three years, from 2019-2021. The length of time (eligibility period) for a diplomate to complete the Pilot Project varies by the expiration date of the diplomate’s certificate or by their current block and status in the Continuous MOC Program (C-MOC).
It will be administered in an online, open-book format. Mini-exams related to journal articles will be accessible via the internet from a personal computer.
The list of journal articles will be available in October 2018 for reference and will also be posted on our website and in the Physician Folios ‘Part III Pilot’ section. On January 15, 2019 the examination questions related to each journal article will be available for review and completion.
If the Pilot becomes a permanent option in 2022, diplomates who continue with the journal article-based assessment option will be expected to read a set number of articles every three years on an ongoing basis. The ABPN will develop a transition plan for those who have completed the Pilot and for all diplomates interested in participating in the new assessment option in Psychiatry, Neurology, Child Neurology or Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. We anticipate developing more journal assessment subspecialty options in 2022.
The results of the Pilot must be reviewed and approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties in order for it to become a permanent alternative for the traditional ABPN MOC secured, proctored MOC examination (Part III of MOC).
A. Diplomates whose third Continuous MOC (C-MOC) block begins in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (these diplomates would have passed a Certification or MOC examination in 2012-2014) and are currently meeting MOC requirements.
Eligibility Period: Diplomates in this group must successfully complete 30 journal article mini-exams and continue to meet all other MOC Program requirements (CME, SA, PIP) during the Pilot Project from 2019-2021.
B. Diplomates in the 10-Year MOC Program who need to take an MOC examination in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (these diplomates will have a certificate expiring in 2019-2021).
Eligibility Period: Diplomates in this group must successfully complete 30 journal article mini-exams by December 15 of their certificate expiration year. All other MOC Program requirements (CME, SA, PIP) must be attested to by September 1 of their certificate expiration year.
Lapsed certificate holders and lifetime certificate holders will not be eligible for the Pilot Project. These diplomates must take the 10-Year MOC examination and meet MOC activity requirements to enter the C-MOC Program.
ABPN sent an email invitation to all eligible Pilot Project participants in mid-December 2017. Enrollment instructions with deadlines were emailed to eligible diplomates in March 2018. Enrollment is still available depending on your certificate expiration date. If you received a Pilot Project invitation and still want to enroll, please see the ‘Part III Pilot’ section in your ABPN Physician Folios account.
Yes. The Pilot Project is OPTIONAL. Eligible diplomates may still choose to take the 10-Year MOC examination instead of participating in the Pilot Project.
Diplomates who took a Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, or Child Neurology Certification or MOC examination in 2015-2018 are in the early stages of the C-MOC Program during the Pilot Project. These diplomates will not be eligible for the Pilot Project. The ABPN will develop a plan to transition these diplomates into this program in 2022 if the Pilot Project is approved in 2021 by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as a permanent alternative to the secure MOC examination. This means that, if the Pilot Project is approved by the ABMS, all current Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, and Child Neurology diplomates in good standing in the ABPN C-MOC Program will have the option of NOT taking the traditional 10-year MOC examination.
Yes. All diplomates, including Pilot Project participants, must meet all MOC Program requirements to be reported as ‘Certified – Meeting MOC Requirements’.
Diplomates are then required to pass the traditional 10-Year MOC examination to remain board certified. Diplomates will be allowed two consecutive attempts at the traditional 10-Year MOC examination if he/she fails or does not complete the Pilot Project in order to remain certified. The first examination will be at no additional cost; however, there will be the standard re-examination fee if a second examination is needed.
• Diplomates must answer 5 questions (mini-exam) associated with each journal article at any time during the Pilot Project in an online, open-book format.
• During the eligibility period of the Pilot Project, those diplomates who answer at least 4 out of 5 questions correctly on the first attempt will have successfully completed one mini-exam.
• Diplomates who successfully complete 30 article readings and mini-exams will not be required to complete the Part III MOC examination.
• Diplomates will receive immediate feedback after completing the mini-exam related to an article.
• Diplomates can select articles from a library of approved articles.
• For a given article, once a mini-exam has been started, it must be completed. Only one mini-exam can be open at a time during the Pilot Project eligibility period. A diplomate must submit the answers of a completed mini-exam before opening the next mini-exam. A mini-exam can be answered during multiple sittings.
• Diplomates can complete their 30 articles and mini-exams at any time during their approved Pilot Project eligibility period.
30 out of 40 journal article mini-exams must be successfully completed in order for a diplomate to meet the MOC Part III examination requirement. A diplomate must read a minimum of 30 articles but no more than 40 articles and answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly on the first attempt on 30 journal article mini-exams.
If you score 5 out of 5 correct on 29 article mini-exams, you still must successfully complete a 30th article with 4 out of 5 correct questions on the first attempt to complete the pilot.
The Pilot Project Test Writing Committees include nominated members from the ABPN and from professional societies (APA, AACAP, AAN, and CNS). The Committees develop a content outline, select journal articles relevant to clinical practice, and write questions related to those articles. The articles reflect topics on the content outline.
The usual MOC fee structure will be in place for Pilot Project participants. Specifically, those transitioning from 10-year MOC into C-MOC will be required to pay a fee equal to the amount for the 10-year MOC examination. Those currently in C-MOC will have the option to use any previously paid annual fees as credit towards the cost of the Pilot recertification. If a diplomate is double-boarded in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, he/she is required to pay a fee equal to the combined MOC examination fee, less any annual fee credits, and also must complete the Pilot Project design for each certificate. Once the Pilot becomes permanent, the annual fee will cover the participation in the article-based assessment for one certification.
No. While the ABPN will provide links on its website to the journal articles chosen for the Pilot Project, those journal articles may or may not have a fee associated with them. Diplomates may choose to contact their professional associations, medical schools, or local libraries to determine if the articles are available at low or reduced cost as part of their affiliation or appointment.
Yes, for article discussion purposes only, a journal club is allowed. However, sharing of mini-exam questions and answers is strictly prohibited by the ABPN and would be considered irregular behavior according to ABPN’s policies.
It is the ABPN’s long-standing policy that any comment left by an examinee regarding the questions on our examinations needs to be reviewed individually and carefully. Most often, the review process will decide that the question should remain as is. In these cases, the ABPN does not inform the examinee who commented on that item. However, if after thorough review and rigorous deliberation our committee of content experts for that examination determines that a question is indeed flawed, we will modify the question and rescore the exam that delivered the flawed question.
When rescoring takes place, we can assure you that, if your initial score on the question was incorrect, your score on that question will then be corrected to reflect the modification. Every examinee whose initial score was negatively affected by the flawed item will receive an email from the ABPN that notifies him or her about the rescoring results.
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