Maintenance of Certification Part III - Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills

The Maintenance of Certification Part III Examination is an integral part of the MOC process. Unlike some other specialties, an otolaryngology MOC examination is complicated by the fact that many if not most otolaryngologists tend to focus on specific practice areas. An otolaryngologist whose practice focus is head and neck oncology may not see or operate on patients with otologic conditions. The American Board of Otolaryngology recognizes this situation and has designed some parts of MOC (including the Part III Examination) to address this issue.

MOC participants must pass a secure, closed-book examination once every ten years. Since many if not most otolaryngologists tend to focus their practice on specific areas within the specialty, the ABOto created practice-focus examinations to more accurately measure an otolaryngologist’s knowledge. For example, some otolaryngologists will limit their practice to head and neck surgery and not treat any otology patients, so the head and neck surgeons would take an examination that does not include questions about otology. The exams are scheduled such that a participant has three opportunities to pass the exam during the 10 year MOC cycle.

In addition to the Cognitive Exam, MOC participants are required to cover what is termed “Clinical Fundamentals? which are subjects that are common to all otolaryngologists regardless of their practice focus. Clinical Fundamental topics include:
  • Clinical Outcome Measures/Evidence Based Medicine
  • Anaphylaxis
  • HIPAA and Compliance
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Patient Safety
  • Otolaryngology Related General Anesthesia Issues
  • Drug/Alcohol Dependence
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • Pain Management
  • Universal Precautions
Many organizations, including hospitals, healthcare systems, and the AAO-HNS, provide modules that cover Clinical Fundamental topics. Please contact the ABOto regarding acceptability of any module.