One of the biggest complaints from opponents is having to take a closed-book, secure, multiple-choice exam at a testing center—although the pass rate among ABOto diplomates is very high. To address this, the ABOto is launching a pilot alternative online program to MOC called CertLink. This longitudinal assessment will require diplomates to answer approximately 15 questions online per quarter; they will receive immediate feedback, along with a commentary of the answer choices and relevant references. “They will learn from answering questions on their computer at their convenience without having to take the secure exam. “In other words, it will be more of an assessment for learning process rather than an assessment of learning,” Dr. Nussenbaum said.
Explore this issue:January 2018
CertLink’s soft launch will occur in July 2018 and will be available for diplomates with 10-year certificates that expire in 2019 and afterward. Initial practice-focus areas will include head and neck, facial plastics, and general otolaryngology. Other areas will be offered as soon as it is feasible.
“A continuous type of learning and evaluation is the most effective,” Dr. Denneny said. “It gives instant feedback to each physician, allowing them to improve where necessary.”
Dr. Eisele foresees physicians preferring CertLink over the 10-year exam as it becomes easier to use. “We got a lot of positive feedback from diplomates, as it’s expected to be more convenient, flexible, and clinically relevant,” he said.
Currently, ABOto doesn’t have an active part IV MOC because it has been working to develop a program that is both valuable and meaningful to its diplomates. “We are on a path to having an active part IV MOC in collaboration with the AAO-HHS and the ACGME,” Dr. Nussenbaum said.
Editor’s note: Dr. Nussenbaum will begin an “Office Hours with the Executive Director” program at the ABOto in mid-January 2018. He welcomes talking to anyone who has questions, suggestions, or feedback. Contact 713/850-0399 to arrange a time.
Karen Appold is a freelance medical writer based in Pennsylvania.