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Program Introduction

Program Introduction

The American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements took effect in 2007. ABNM expects its diplomates with time-limited certificates to participate in MOC. The ABNM strongly encourages all of its diplomates to participate in MOC programs as they are developed.

The ABNM initiated the time limited recertification requirement in 1992. All diplomates who have received ABNM certification since 1992 are required to take the recertification (MOC) board exam every ten years.

Diplomates with Lifetime Certification Update:

If a diplomate with lifetime certification (certified prior to 1992) chooses to participate in MOC, all 4 components of MOC must be completed, including the recertification (MOC) exam (Part 3). If you choose not to participate in MOC, the ABNM will not revoke your certification.

  1. Professional Standing — evidence of professional standing is provided by a medical license(s) that has no limitations on the practice of medicine and surgery in that jurisdiction.
  2. Lifelong Learning & Self-Assessment — evidence of a commitment to lifelong learning and involvement in a periodic self-assessment process to guide continuing learning. The ABNM requires each diplomate to obtain a minimum of 8 self-assessment credits per year in order to be eligible for the recertification exam. These credit hours may be obtained by completing the SNM Lifelong Learning & Self-Assessment Program (LLSAP) modules.
  3. Cognitive Expertise — evidence of cognitive expertise based on performance on an examination. That exam should be secure, reliable and valid. It must contain questions on fundamental knowledge, up-to-date practice-related knowledge, and other issues such as ethics and professionalism. This component consists of the recertification (MOC) examination administered by the ABNM.
  4. Performance in Practice Evaluation — evidence of evaluation of performance in practice, including the medical care provided for common/major health conditions, and physician behaviors, such as communication and professionalism, as they relate to patient care. ABMS is developing tools and SNM plans to develop management modules in the future.

Recertification Exam Dates:

Diplomates with lifetime certificates who choose to participate in MOC:

  • certified between 1972 and 1976 are required to take the recertification (MOC) exam by 2015.
  • certified between 1977 and 1986 are required to take the exam by 2016.
  • certified between 1987 and 1991 are required to take the exam by 2017.
  • those with time-limited certificates, who certified in 1992 and later, will take the exam at the normal time.

The ABNM has changed the start date for obtainment of self-assessment credits from 2006 to 2007. Self-assessment credits received by having completed the SNM LLSAP modules in 2006 will carry over to the 2007 requirement.

On an annual basis, ABNM diplomates must provide documentation that they have obtained a total of 50 hours of CME of which 25 hours are category 1 CME in order to be eligible for the recertification board exam. This includes 8 hours of category 1 CME from ABNM approved self-assessment modules. 70% of Category 1 credit needs to be in nuclear medicine (17.5 credit hours). Self-assessment credit may be obtained by completing modules included on the SNM's Lifelong Learning & Self Assessment (LLSAP) Web site. Look for a LLSAP purchase option included in your SNM annual membership renewal package. The modules will be available at a special discounted rate. By purchasing this package, you will obtain the 8 self-assessment credit hours that are required by the ABNM to maintain your certification.

An evaluation of Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Maintenance of Certification requirements will be part of the re-certification process.

For more information regarding Maintenance of Certification, please visit the American Board of Nuclear Medicine Web site at www.abnm.org.

Why should I participate in MOC?

  • Participation is mandatory for diplomates with time-limited board certification. Although participation in MOC programs is not mandatory for diplomates with lifetime certification, specialty boards are strongly encouraging all of their diplomates to participate in MOC.
  • Medical knowledge: Your medical knowledge is enhanced when you stay current with the latest research and advances in your specialty.
  • Your patients benefit: By staying up-to-date with the latest advances in your specialty, your patients can be assured that they are receiving high-quality medical care.
  • Reimbursement: It is anticipated that third-party payers will require physicians to participate in a MOC program (Pay-for-Performance initiative).
  • Privileges and Credentialing: In addition to maintaining your medical license, it is expected that most hospitals will require physicians to participate in a MOC program.
  • Self-Governance: Instead of having the government dictate what constitutes high-quality medical care, the ABMS prefers that the specialties define and disseminate their own standards through their respective MOC programs.
  • Malpractice Premium Reductions: Our research indicates that participation in a MOC program may result in reduced malpractice insurance premiums.