Maintenance of Certification

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) lifelong learning and quality improvement program. All twenty-four ABMS member boards, including the American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS), have developed MOC programs for their diplomates.

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery/American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Joint Statement on Professional Self-Regulation and Continuous Certification

The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery are strongly committed to the promotion of professionalism and safe, high-quality care through professional self-regulation. We feel this is best accomplished through ongoing lifelong participation in high-quality, meaningful, and relevant learning activities as well as on-going assessment related to an otolaryngologist- head and neck surgeon’s current practice. We support the concept of designing learning and assessment activities that can be integrated into the physician’s normal workflow. We recognize that these activities require constant development and continuous improvement, including incorporation of feedback from practicing otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons.

Lifetime Diplomates who wish to participate in Maintenance of Certification can do so by clicking on this application link.

The Benefits of MOC
Physicians benefit from participating in MOC because they receive focused learning based on individual practice needs, increase efficiency and reduce malpractice premiums as well as the need for duplicate assessments of credentials, among other benefits.

Patients experience fewer medical errors, better communication and quality clinical outcomes when they choose a board certified physician. Medical specialists who participate in MOC use the most current evidence-based guidelines and standards in their specialty and are widely recognized as leaders in the national movement for healthcare quality.

In fact, MOC is recognized as an important quality marker by insurers, hospitals, quality and credentialing organizations as well as the federal government. Through the MOC program, board certified physicians advance the standard of specialty medical care nationwide. Higher standards mean better care.


Part I – Professionalism and Professional Standing
The participant must complete an annual reporting form, update licensure information. Pay annual fee of $310.

Part II – Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
Each participant must obtain 25 CME units per year, 60% of which must be in otolaryngology. The participant is required to successfully complete one ABOHNS self-assessment module in a specialty area of his/her choice per year.

Part III – Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills
The participant is required to pass a closed book, computer-based exam once during the last three years of the MOC cycle.

The ABOHNS is developing an online platform, CertLink, which will present approximately 20 questions per quarter that diplomates can answer on their own schedule. Once the diplomate selects and answer, the correct answer will appear along with a statement of why the correct answer is correct and the other options are incorrect along with one or two references. Diplomates who opt for CertLink and maintain an appropriate performance will be exempt from the Part III exam and would meet the annual Part II self-assessment requirements (SAMs).

Part IV – Improvement in Medical Practice
The ABOHNS is working closely with the AAO-HNS on its RegentSM registry to ensure the registry data is compatible with the ABOHNS MOC program. When implemented, Regent℠ users will have the option of forwarding the pertinent data periodically to the ABOHNS which will then provide feedback on improvement in practice..

The three components of Part IV include:
  • A patient survey
  • A peer survey
  • A registry that will be the basis for quality improvement activities.
The requirements for the ten year MOC cycle are summarized in the following table in which X indicates a required action:
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Part I * * * * * * * * * *
Part II * * * * * * * * * *
Part III               Exam
Part IV *

For questions regarding the MOC process, please email