Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for Sleep Medicine Physicians

Maintenance of certification (MOC), which emphasizes ongoing professional development and assessment, is required by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Sleep medicine MOC is administered by the six boards that offer sleep medicine certification. The Standards for the ABMS Program for Maintenance of Certification provide a framework for the boards to use in developing their own programs for MOC. While all MOC programs measure the same six competencies within the same four-part framework, specific MOC activities may vary by board.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides resources to equip board-certified sleep medicine physicians to meet their MOC requirements.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) on-demand maintenance of certification (MOC) program is a recertification solution that meets the requirements of leading medical boards and is tailored to the needs of sleep medicine physicians. Earn continuing medical education (CME) credits while working toward your MOC requirements. Earn MOC points with these Self-Assessment Exams, which give you the freedom to learn where and when you choose. Each exam contains multiple-choice, case-based questions written by board-certified sleep medicine physicians.

Approved by Leading Boards

The AASM MOC Self-Assessment Exams have been approved by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) to meet Part II requirements, and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) for self-assessment CME. Currently, the AASM on-demand MOC program is only for physicians boarded under the ABIM, ABP, and the ABPN.

Upon completion of each MOC program activity, the AASM will automatically submit a notification to the appropriate board for your convenience.

Earn FREE MOC Points

Exam Date

The 2019 sleep medicine MOC exam is Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. The 2020 sleep medicine MOC exam is Nov. 18, 2020.

Exam Blueprint

The detailed sleep medicine MOC exam blueprint, which is reviewed annually and updated as needed, describes the primary medical content categories of the exam, with the percentage assigned to each category for a typical exam.

Question Format

The exam consists of single-best-answer questions only. This type of question consists of a brief statement, case history, graph or picture followed by a question and list of possible options. You must choose the one answer that is better than the others; note that other options may be partially correct. Familiarizing yourself with the question format in advance may help you work more effectively. Unanswered questions are scored as incorrect; therefore, you should answer every question. There is no penalty for guessing. Do your best to answer all questions according to your understanding of current clinical principles and practice. Multiple editions, or “forms,” of the exam are used, and they may differ in question order and content.

Exam Day

Arrive 30 minutes prior to the appointment time specified on your confirmation e-mail. If you arrive after your appointment time, you may not be admitted to the exam. When you arrive at the test center, you will need to present primary (e.g., driver’s license, passport) and secondary identification (e.g., Social Security card, valid credit card or ATM card).

The sleep medicine MOC exam takes approximately 10 hours. The day is divided into several sessions, each containing a maximum of 60 multiple-choice questions. You will have 100 minutes of available break time to use during your examination. The amount of break time you use after each test session will be subtracted from the amount of available break time. For instance, if you take a 10-minute break after session one, the amount of break time remaining for the exam will be reduced to 90 minutes.

Each session is open-book, meaning that you will have access to an online external resource (UpToDate®) for these questions. You can take the exam tutorial and visit the UpToDate User Academy for ABIM Exam to practice using the open-book feature. Please note that certain features of UpToDate, including those that access external websites like society guidelines, will not be available during the exam for security reasons.

Learn more about how to prepare for an assessment in a test center.

Exam Results

Your results will be released within three months of the last date of the exam in that area. When your results are released, you will receive an e-mail notification with instructions on how to access your Score Report in PDF format from your Physician Portal. All score reports are provided electronically within your Physician Portal, not via postal mail. The pass rate for the 2017 sleep medicine MOC exam, taken by 818 physicians, was 91%.

Free Tutorial

Becoming familiar with the exam will greatly improve your efficiency on exam day. The online tutorial takes about 30 minutes to complete. Access the MOC exam tutorial.

AASM Board Review Resources

The AASM offers a variety of resources to help you prepare for the MOC exam, including a mock board exam and on-demand, online presentations from AASM courses. Visit the board review section of the AASM online store for more information.

“I’m board certified by the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM); what are the requirements for MOC?”

The American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) offered a subspecialty certification examination for sleep medicine through 2006. ABSM sleep medicine certification is a lifetime certification and does not require any maintenance of certification. If you are certified under the ABSM along with another board(s), please confirm with your board whether it has additional MOC requirements.

“If I’m board certified in sleep medicine, do I have to maintain my primary specialty, to maintain my sleep certification?”

Only those physicians certified by ABFM need to maintain their primary certification in order to maintain their secondary sleep certification. All other boards allow maintenance of only your secondary sleep certification.

“What are the different components of MOC?”

MOC involves ongoing measurement of six core competencies defined by ABMS and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME):

  1. Practice-based Learning and Improvement
  2. Patient Care and Procedural Skills
  3. Systems-based Practice
  4. Medical Knowledge
  5. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  6. Professionalism

These competencies are measured in the ABMS Program for MOC within a four-part framework:

  • Part I: Professionalism and Professional Standing
    Physicians must hold a valid, unrestricted medical license in at least one state or jurisdiction in the United States, its territories or Canada.
  • Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
    Physicians participate in educational and self-assessment programs that meet specialty-specific standards that are set by their member board.
  • Part III: Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills
    Physicians demonstrate, through formalized assessments, that they have the fundamental, practice-related and practice environment-related knowledge to provide quality care in their specialty.
  • Part IV: Improvement in Medical Practice
    Physicians are evaluated in their clinical practice according to specialty-specific standards for patient care. They are asked to demonstrate that they can assess the quality of care they provide compared to peers and national benchmarks and then apply the best evidence or consensus recommendations to improve that care using follow-up assessments.

The specific deadlines and activities required to meet these components may vary by board. Please visit the website of your primary specialty board for specific details.

“What is the AASM doing to advocate for sleep physicians who are frustrated with MOC requirements?”

Learn more about how the AASM is involved in MOC Advocacy.

For more information about sleep medicine MOC, contact education@aasm.org.

Updated Oct. 17, 2019