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Time Limitations and Ineligibility

Certification by ABOG and participation in the MOC process is voluntary.

Certification is a continuous process and certificates expire on a yearly basis.

If you passed the Certifying Exams in February 2021, you gain certification that will expire on December 31, 2021, unless you successfully meet all of the 2021 MOC requirements.

Please make sure you stay up-to-date with your MOC program information each year. Check the website regularly for updates.

Keep your profile updated. Notify ABOG of changes in address, email address, or telephone numbers by emailing moc@abog.org.

ABOG is not under obligation to notify you of impending loss of certification, deadlines, or changes in your certification status.

  • ABOG will attempt to email reminders to those who may be in jeopardy of losing certification using the email address provided at the time of their most recent MOC application.
  • ABOG is not responsible for you not receiving such emails due to change of email address, loss of the notice due to spam or other filters, or any other email problem.

You must enroll in MOC no later than November 15 of the year your certificate expires.

  • All assignments for the MOC year must be completed and submitted by December 15, 2021. Failure to complete and submit all MOC assignments by the deadline may result in loss of board certification.

As a diplomate enrolled in MOC, you have a dashboard showing your MOC progress.

  • Log in at abog.org using your ABOG ID number and password.
  • Review your dashboard at least quarterly.

You'll have access to all MOC assignments when the application process has been completed, and you've been approved to participate.

If you're a diplomate in Year 6 who is required to take the MOC exam, apply no later than November 15, 2021, and successfully pass no later than December 15, 2021.

If you retire from practice or temporarily are clinically inactive (e.g., not involved in the provision, supervision, or administration of patient care), you can request to participate in MOC activities.

If your certification has been expired less than six years, you can regain certification through the Re-Entry process. This requires passing a computer-based exam and completing the MOC Year 1 requirements in the same year.

If you achieved specialty certification prior to 1986, you hold a certificate that is not time-limited. Your certificate doesn't expire. However, if you choose to participate in some or all of the parts of the MOC process, this won't change your certification status in any manner. The duration of your certification remains unlimited.

If you hold a non-time-limited basic certificate and want to participate in MOC, simply email moc@abog.org. You may participate in MOC Parts I, II, III, and IV. Following are the tasks involved.

  • Submit appropriate additional materials and pay the application fee.
  • Read the section about Applying to MOC for details about the application process.
  • To be designated as meeting MOC requirements, you'll need to participate in all parts of MOC applicable to your practice. In most cases, this will require participation in MOC Parts I, II, III, and IV.
  • In MOC Year 6, diplomates are required to pass the Part III MOC exam or participate in Performance Pathway.
  • If you have a non-time-limited certification, you're eligible to participate in the MOC Performance Pathway (pilot) program, which offers opportunity for exemption from the MOC exam in Year 6.
  • If you're a diplomate with a non-time-limited certification who prefers to participate only in Part II to earn CME credit hours, you'll need to contact ABOG for approval at moc@abog.org. Participation in Part II alone will not meet the criteria to be designated as participating in MOC.

If you fail to enter into MOC or fail to successfully complete all of the required assignments in any given MOC year, you will lose your Diplomate status. That is, you'll no longer be board-certified.

  • Example: A diplomate was required to be enrolled in the MOC Year 1 process in 2018 to maintain certification. An application was completed and the fee paid, but the physician did not complete the Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment assignments by the deadline. That physician's certificate will expire, and will no longer be board-certified as of January 1, 2019.

Diplomate status may be regained by completing to Re-Entry process. However, during the interval between January 1st and the completion of the re-entry process, you are not board-certified and may not advertise or assert Diplomate status.

As part of the Re-Entry process, documentation that the cause of initial disapproval has been resolved, dismissed, or expired must be submitted with the re-entry application.

If you are not admitted to the MOC process, you may appeal the decision by writing to the ABOG Executive Director within 90 days of notification of the action that is being appealed.

  • The letter must set forth in detail the specific grounds on which the appeal is based.
  • If it is determined by the Executive Director that the complaint is not an appealable issue, you will be notified by traceable mail within 30 working days.
  • If the Executive Director determines that the appeal does involve an appealable issue, you will be notified by traceable mail within 30 working days. The process for consideration of the appeal is outlined in the ABOG Policy for Appeals.

If you certification expires during the appeal process, you will hold an expired certificate and must pass the re-entry examination to reinstate certification. If the appeal is successful, Diplomate status will be reinstated, and you must complete any incomplete yearly MOC assignments.

The following section applies to you if you are a previously-certified physician who has lost ABOG certification due to lack of participation in or failure to complete the MOC process. You are no longer a Diplomate of ABOG and may not advertise or otherwise designate that you are ABOG certified. Any designation or advertisement of expired ABOG certification must accurately communication the dates that the certification commenced and ended.

Certification Expired Fewer Than Six Years

If you are seeking to regain certification, you must pass a secure re-entry computer-based examination and then complete the MOC Year 1 assignments in the year. Re-entry examinations will be given mid-January through June 30, 2021. All exams will be administered at Pearson VUE testing centers throughout the United States. Candidates may take the re-entry examination up to three times in a year to pass the examination. There is no additional charge for the additional examinations.

Application Process

Applications for the re-entry examination will be available at abog.org beginning January 2019, but you must call the ABOG MOC department (214.871.1619) for access to the online application.

  • The final date to apply for the examination is June 16, 2021. No applications will be accepted after this date.
  • A non-refundable combined examination and MOC fee of $775 must be paid at the time of application. No application will be processed without payment of the application fee and submission of all required documents.

Testing Sites

You will be sent an email after your application has been approved and the appropriate fee has been paid. The email will be sent to the email address provided as part of the application process.

  • After the email is received, you should contact Pearson VUE to obtain a reservation for the examination. Instructions for contacting the testing company will be included in the email.
  • Reservations at the testing centers are limited and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Thus, there is no guarantee that a specific city site will be available.
  • You are encouraged to complete your application process as soon as possible.

Re-Entry Certification Limits

If you successfully pass the re-entry examination in 2021, you will have your Diplomate status reinstated for the remainder of 2021 provided that you enter the MOC process in 2021 and complete the assignments. Diplomate status will be renewed annually provided that the MOC process is completed successfully each year.

Certification Expired for Six or More Years

If you hold a certificate that has been expired for six or more years, you are not eligible to apply for the re-entry examination. You may re-establish Diplomate status only by taking and passing the Specialty Qualifying and Certifying Exams.