MOCA Minute is a pilot project developed by the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) to help anesthesiology diplomates prepare for the MOCA exam. In its initial launch in 2014, diplomates were sent one question each week via email that they had to answer within one minute. After submitting the answer, the program then took the diplomate to a screen that provided a description of the right and wrong answer along with a critique and supporting references.
CertLink works in a similar fashion. According to Dr. Weber, the CertLink program adopted by each of the participating boards will be slightly different and tailored to each board’s constituents.
For otolaryngologists, the test will consist of 20 questions submitted quarterly to each participating diplomate. “Doctors, at their leisure, can answer one question at a time, or all 20,” said Dr. Miller, adding that five minutes will be allotted for doctors to answer each question. As with MOCA Minute, diplomates will be given immediate feedback, including the rationale for the correct answer and references, once they have submitted their answers. Participants who score well on CertLink will not have to take the Part III exam at the end of the 10-year cycle.
Dr. Miller stressed that participating in CertLink is optional and that CertLink does not replace the Part III exam. “We will still do the Part III exam,” he said, adding that participants in CertLink who do not do well on the new exam can still take the Part III exam and that people who prefer to take the one-time exam every 10 years can still do so.
Expectations Based on MOCA Minute Outcomes
If otolaryngologists take to CertLink the way anesthesiologists did to MOCA Minute, the pilot should be a success. According to an ABA spokesperson, nearly 92% of diplomates surveyed who participated in the initial launch of MOCA Minute said they preferred answering a fixed number of questions aimed at enhancing their learning every year to participating in the high-stakes MOCA exam. Surveyed participants also said that MOCA Minute helped them stay current in anesthesiology, and 80% said it helped them care better for their patients.
Based on these results, the ABA expanded MOCA Minute in 2016. To date, responses to the 2016 version indicate that diplomates “overwhelmingly” prefer MOCA Minute to the exam, said the ABA spokesperson.
After talking to colleagues in anesthesiology who “seem to like it,” C. Ron Cannon, MD, president-elect of ABOto, said that he suspects that, as a pilot program, the initial launch of CertLink may come with some “glitches along the way as the program is developed” but “hopes it will provide value for diplomates with continuous learning while being minimally intrusive on their time and practices.”
Otolaryngologists Urged to Participate
“I want otolaryngologists-head and neck surgeons to know that the American Board of Otolaryngology is committed to making CertLink relevant to their lifelong learning to improve their care of patients,” said Dr. Eisele, adding that “we’re committed to monitoring and improving this process as it evolves to continuously make it better and relevant to them.”