The medical specialty certification boards are relaxing their maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements and allowing more flexibility in recognition of the demands that are being placed on physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. A March statement issued by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) indicated that each individual board will respond in a way that best meets the needs of physicians in their specialty.

An April 13 letter from American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) President and CEO Dr. Richard J. Baron stated that, “No one will lose certification if they aren’t able to complete a requirement this year.” He indicated that any physician who has an MOC requirement due in 2020 — including an assessment, point requirement or attestation — will now have until the end of 2021 to complete it. Physicians currently in their grace year also will be afforded an additional grace year in 2021.

Similarly, an April 16 message from American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) President and CEO Dr. Larry Faulkner announced that the ABPN will defer the 2020 Continuing Certification(CC)/MOC exam requirement for one year until Dec. 31, 2021, for diplomates whose specialty or subspecialty certificates would have expired in 2020. ABPN will not change a certification status negatively even if there are insufficient or incomplete activities (CME, Self-Assessment or PIP) recorded in Physician Folios at the end of 2020.

More COVID-19 updates and details are available from each of the certifying boards:

Learn more about MOC for sleep medicine physicians.