Professionalism & Professional Standing
Part 1 of Maintenance of Certification
Your professionalism and professional standing helps assure the public that you exhibit professionalism in your medical practice.
This MOC Part I category includes:
- acting in your patients’ best interests.
- behaving professionally with patients, families, and colleagues across health professions.
- taking appropriate care of yourself.
- representing your Board certification and MOC status in a professional manner.
The following categories describe the specific areas that form the basis of Professionalism and Professional Standing:
ABOG requires an active, full, and unrestricted license in each state in which you are licensed as one measure of professionalism and professional standing.
- ABOG will query each state licensing board through the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) for lists of physicians who hold active licenses. Physicians must have an active, unrestricted medical license in each state in which they practice, i.e., you have a New Jersey license, but you are practicing in South Dakota with privileges in South Dakota; you are required to have a medical license in South Dakota as well.
- In addition, ABOG is informed through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and other appropriate sources about medical board disciplinary and non-disciplinary actions that are taken against Diplomates’ licenses to practice.
- For clinically inactive or retired Diplomates: Some states require physicians with active medical licenses to carry medical liability insurance. If you are clinically inactive and considering changing from full or active licenses to inactive, exempt, volunteer, retired, or other statuses, you must contact the MOC office to request the Ad Hoc Committee of the Credentials Committee’s approval for such licenses. Expired inactive licenses will not be approved.
ABOG requires unrestricted privileges in Obstetrics and Gynecology currently and during the past 12 months at each institution, facility, or hospital where you practice as another measure of professionalism and professional standing.
You must submit a written explanation of any of the following circumstances that occurred since the last MOC application to ABOG:
- any disciplinary or non-disciplinary action (e.g., reprimand, warning, admonishment, restriction, condition, suspension, probation, surrender, denial of renewal, or revocation) taken by a state medical board regarding any state medical license held in any state or province.
- any hospital privileges restrictions, denials of renewal, or revocation; this includes any limitations or suspensions, as well as loss of hospital privileges.
- any disciplinary actions taken by a hospital, institution, or other government agency
- any evidence of mental or physical impairment, including any mandated monitoring by a state physician health program (PHP)
ABOG will review the material to determine whether you'll be allowed to participate in the MOC process. In most cases, ABOG will require that you clear all restrictions and/or conditions before participation is approved.
Moral and Ethical Behavior
You must present evidence of good moral and ethical character and an untarnished professional reputation. The method of demonstrating professionalism and professional standing is different for practice settings.
- For physicians with hospital staff membership: For those with a hospital practice, if requested by ABOG, a release-of-information form must be signed. This allows ABOG to make confidential inquiries to any hospital; other medical facility; other healthcare organization (including membership organizations); physicians, nurses, trainees; and patients, as needed, to document that you fulfill all moral and ethical requirements.
- For clinically active physicians without medical staff membership: If your practice is exclusively office-based, an attestation form must be completed by an ABOG Diplomate in good standing, excluding a spouse or family member, in Year 1 of each 6-year MOC cycle.
- For clinically inactive physicians: If you are clinically inactive or retired, an attestation form must be completed by an ABOG Diplomate in good standing, excluding a spouse or family member, in Year 1 of each 6-year MOC cycle.
- For physicians in international practice settings: If you are practicing in a country other than the United States and its territories or Canada, you must submit a letter with the application from a responsible senior official in the hospital or clinical setting where you practice. The letter must attest that you have independent, unsupervised privileges for the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology and that your practice of medicine meets all local standards. The letter must be submitted in Year 1 of each 6-year MOC cycle.
Restrictions of Practice
If you have had a license restricted, suspended, placed on probation, surrendered or revoked by any licensing board or have had any negative action taken by a hospital, medical facility, or healthcare organization, you will not be allowed to participate in the MOC process until all such restrictions are removed. Conditions placed on medical licenses or hospital privileges are considered to be restrictions of practice.
Falsification of data submitted to ABOG or evidence of other egregious ethical, moral, or professional misbehavior may result in deferral of your application to MOC for at least 3 years. You will lose certification during this deferral period and must apply for re-entry to reinstate Board certification. It is your responsibility to inform ABOG of any and all actions against a medical license, hospital or other privileges, and credentials, including having your practice monitored.
Probationary Certification Status
If you have medical licenses on probation for a specified length of time, you may request or be assigned to participate in the MOC process in a probationary certification status if the reason for probation is not associated with a criminal conviction or plea. Each request or situation will be reviewed by the appropriate ABOG committee. The decision of the committee is final and cannot be appealed. If you would like more information about the probationary certification status, contact the ABOG MOC office: 214-721-7510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.