Pediatrics MOC

Reset Your Part 3 MOC clock

on Wednesday, 13 July 2016. Posted in Pediatrics MOC , Pediatric recertification

I am at the point in my MOC cycle where I must complete my next Part 2 and Part 4 cycles by December 2020.  Interestingly enough, even though this is 4 years away, I noted that the date is December 17th, 2020. If I leave this all to the last minute, that can be a problem since most of us think in terms of the calendar year ending December 31st with the dropping of the Times Square ball. The Pediatric MOC ball drop occurs 14 days earlier.

However, I have no intention to leave this for the last minute let alone get even close to that deadline. In fact, as those of you following this blog already know, I currently have 10 out of my 40 MOC Part 1 points checked off through the ABP QOW outlined in a previous blog.

MOC

Above: How I feel when the ABP gives me MOC points

That said, my Part 3 Cognitive Expertise Exam isn’t due until the year 2023.  Since I am recommending staying ahead of the game and steering clear of deadlines, wouldn’t it make sense to just go ahead and take the exam now and postpone the deadline another ten years? That would make it so I would not have to take another exam until the year 2033 which sounds like a year in a science fiction movie. 

MOC FUTURE

Above: Planning my MOC future

So I went ahead to see how that would work while logged into my MOC portfolio and there I got the following recommendation:

“Your online MOC exam application should only be submitted in the year the exam is due and your General Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification Examination is not due until 2023. Registration for this examination will open January 1, 2023. If you would like to request to take your examination earlier than 2023, then please send that request to MOC Administration staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.”

Above: What it feels like when logging into my ABP portfolio. For sound effects click here.

So it seems I would need special permission to take it early. However, taking it early will only postpone it another 10 years from now. That would mean my exam is postponed until 2026 not 2033. Alas, I might as well stick with the 2023 expiration date.  This is especially true since the ABP may be doing away with the secure exam for Part 3 Pediatric MOC credit. We will update you on this in a future blog. 

Above: Me racking up MOC points before they are due

Announcing the Release of the 5th Edition of “Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification”

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Wednesday, 18 May 2016. Posted in Pediatrics MOC

By now we are assuming that you have already arranged to take the Cognitive Expertise Secure Exam aka MOC Part 3. Once again, taking it before the summer buys you time to prepare in the event that you do not pass the first time.  If you pass!? Then you are done for another 10 years and can really enjoy your summer vacation as we noted in our previous blog

However, Part 3 is only one part of the MOC process you must complete before your December expiration date.  In order to help you to prepare for and be familiar with all aspects of the Pediatric MOC process we are happy to finally announce the release of the latest edition of our Surfing Your Way to Pediatric Recertification and Guide to the MOC Process ® 5th edition.  

This updated edition includes a complete overhaul of the material that you will be tested on. This mirrors the material included in the 6th edition of our main text "Laughing Your Way to Passing the Pediatric Boards" which was also recently released. All of this was based on the content specifications provided by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

This newly released title includes new chapters on “Ethics for the Primary Care Physician” and “Patient Safety and Quality Improvement” which have been added to the exam.  

The new Surfing your Way to Recertification, however, focuses on the entire MOC process saving you hours of head scratching tab delete keystrokes trying to understand exactly what is expected of you.

We review suggested modules and provide recommendations for the Part 2 and Part 4 MOC requirements.

Part 1 requires no guidelines since that is the easy one, which requires you to have an active medical license or its equivalent. We assume you already have that since that is the admission ticket to even get through the MOC door. 

We are very excited about this new release and with July 1st coming soon, we want to thank all of you who have written us and patiently awaited the release of the title.  As a token of our thanks and to assist you in overcoming procrastination we are offering a discount code (code: RELEASETHE5TH) that will be good from now through June 1st, which will provide you with a 10% discount.

Above: my reaction when passing the MOC exam

The QOW Experience

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Tuesday, 01 March 2016. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics MOC , Pediatric recertification, Pediatric Maintenance of Certification

In my previous blog last week, I noted that the ABP QOW was a great way to get MOC Part 2 credit.  Each year, the ABP has been releasing 50 questions a year, one week at a time.  They have been doing so since December 2013 which means folks like me who are entering their MOC cycle can catch up if they would like.  For every 25 questions you answer correctly you get awarded 10 Part 2 MOC points out of the 40 required points.

Above GIF: How I feel when answering a QOW correctly

In the last blog, I had 11 out of the required 25 questions answered correctly. I also got 4 questions wrong.  This is the key, you must answer them correctly for it to count.   Since I am working on 2014 and 2015, there are 100 questions with a potential for 40 points available.  In that context it is very easy to get sloppy and answer the questions incorrectly.  And I have been guilty of this. However, since I am in year one of a 5-year cycle, this won’t be too costly since there are other Part 2 MOC modules available.  Even if I decide to get all of my MOC Part 2 points through the QOW, I have future years to continue the process.

Above GIF: My reaction when answering a QOW question incorrectly

Once you answer the question there is a forum for each question you can post comments to.

One reader even noted that he answered the question correctly on the Pre-Test but got it wrong after reading the abstract and discussion.  This reader’s advice was to not read the answers before reading the abstract.  This is personal taste.   The bottom line is: if you need these points this year, then you have to go through the abstract and discussion with emphasis on the conclusion and the parts of the discussion that focuses on the key points in the question.

If you have already gone through all of the archived questions then you will have to wait an entire week to move on to the next question since the QOW is question of the week!

When you answer the question correctly you must “claim your pearl “ by clicking the appropriate button illustrated in the screen shot below. Below that is the "post" button and "comment section". This is where you post your comments that other readers can read or just ignore.

ABP_recertification_screenshot1

Once you answered 25 questions correctly and claimed all 25 pearls, you get a nice little sticker that says the following:  

screenshot_ABP_recertification

Your stats on that set of questions gets reset, thus I was unable to go back and get a screen shot for this blog.

I then went to my dashboard which is in the screen shot below. As you can see I now have 10 out of 40 required Part 2 MOC Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment Points needed by December 17th 2020.  

MOC_ABP_screenshot3

Of note you do not get CME Credit for completing the QOW. I will review the other modules that we recommend for Part 2 MOC Credit in future blogs some of which do provide an opportunity for free CME credit. The nice thing is you can get all of your credit through QOW and still take advantage of the other modules, which helps you to prepare for the Part 3 secured exam AND provides CME credit.

I am currently going through my next set of questions and have 10 out of the required 25 questions completed. As I move along in the cycle I will provide updates on my experience with advise on avoiding the pitfalls I encounter. 

easy_recertification_moc_pediatrics

Be Decisive With Pediatric Decision Making Self Assessment Part 2

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Monday, 10 June 2013. Posted in Pediatrics MOC , Pediatrics Recertification, Pediatric recertification, pediatrics board review

I am happy to report that I did reach the 80% mark and am now the proud owner of 20 more Part 2 Pediatric MOC points. This brings my total up to 30 Part 2 Pediatric MOC points.

How did I approach it differently this time? 

1)    For one thing I made sure I was very certain I had the correct answer (should be obvious).

2)    If it seemed to be challenging I held off on answering it.

3)    Free throws  - I went through the ones that to me were pretty easy to figure out fairly quickly.

4)    Challenging Layups - If I still wasn’t sure I went back and made notes on the information that was being presented and often this was enough to make the answer apparent.

5)    Needs some time - In some cases this was not enough and the obvious answers didn’t seem to be correct.

6)    All along the way I kept track of the percentage correct, with each correct answer I got closer and closer to the 80% number.

7)    I also tracked the number of incorrect answers I was getting and yes even despite this approach I still answered questions incorrectly.

8)    Since this is an open book, which is now an outdated term; more like an open google test. I used google for the “ needs some time” category. The way I did it was by simply searching for the clinical descriptions and lab findings .

9)    More often than not this helped me discover the correct answer and I actually found myself learning along the process.

10)  Once I reached the magical number 0f 80% I still had a couple more questions to go but the pressure was off.

11)  But I and you should still want to get as high a score as possible. After all, this is a really good opportunity to learn. Although the process is challenging the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) really set it up so you review a lot of material.

12)  So I took a different approach this time and reached 84% and now am the proud owner of 20 points toward fulfilling my Part 2 Pediatric MOC requirement.

13) Yes that means I got 8 wrong, which is quite close to comfort, in missing out on an opportunity to get 20 points on what I believe is one of the more useful, and least painful ways to get your Part 2 Pediatric MOC points.

Be decisive with Pediatrics Certification Review

 

Recall that I already got 10 points on the dashboard for completing 2013 General Pediatrics Comprehensive Knowledge Self- Assessment and now have 30 Points.

Therefore, I suggest you go through this process the way you would approach anything that required concentration. If this means putting on your thinking caps and playing ocean sounds then do it. (see previous blog)

Remember to be methodical; they are presenting material in broad strokes. The question consisted of a history, physical and lab / imaging studies.  I made a list of all the pertinent positive findings and pertinent negative findings. This allowed me to filter out irrelevant negatives.

I noted when something had “quotes” around it, it meant that things weren’t necessarily what the patient was describing, and I made a “beware” notation on my notes.

One of the benefits of this section is once you have “committed to an answer” you can print out the case summary which helps outline fine points of difference in differential diagnosis which is sure to be helpful in preparing for the secured Part 3: Pediatric MOC exam.

So my scorecard so far is

Part 2 Points:

2013 General Pediatrics Comprehensive Knowledge Self-Assessment: 10

2013 General Pediatrics Decision Skills Self-Assessment:  20

Still need 10 more to meet the minimum of 40 Part 2 points. I will need 30 more points if I want to use Part 2 points for the 20 “either Part 2 or Part 4 “ category toward the total 100 points needed for Parts 2 and Parts 4. Wow, I think I just confused myself.

I will let you know in the next blog where my search for the most useful and least difficult to pass MOC Part 2 activities 

Be Decisive With Pediatric Decision Making Self Assessment Part 1

Written by Stuart Silverstein on Friday, 31 May 2013. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics MOC , Pediatrics Recertification, Pediatric recertification, Pediatric Maintenance of Certification

Pediatrics MOC 

When we last left off, I had only receive 10 Points toward my total of 20 Part 2 Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment points:

I was previously going through the Pediatric Decision Making Self Assessment activity. Which when completed would yield me 20 more points on the Big Board, half of the 40 points required for Part 2: Pediatric Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

However, this was not a softball toss since a minimum score of 80% was required to grab this 20-point brass ring. Simple enough?

Pediatrics MOC decision skills self assessment  

How I felt when I found out I needed 80% correct answers on the pediatrics decision skills self assessment test

 

Not really! You are given 50 case scenarios, and a score of 80% means you cannot miss more than 10 of these (you might want to check the math). It is all or none, you might understand much of what you are reading but if you choose the wrong answer there is no going back. This is not one of those CME tests you answer until you get the right answer which by the way, is my favorite type of CME test since the creation of the internet by Al Gore.

It really isn’t a “self assessment” since you are being assessed by the American Board of Pediatrics based on the decisions you “commit to”. I would call it more of an assessment by the ABP of whether you can keep your Pediatric certification. But lets not get caught up in semantics.

Pediatrics MOC correct answer

How I feel when I get a pediatrics MOC question correct

I was handled a nice big slice of humble pie when I did not hit the decision making hammer hard enough to hit the 80% bell. It seems I missed the 80% by taking this activity too lightly. I did it in several sittings. Often when I was tired at the end of a long day or while listening to the theme song from Law and Order on iTunes rather than ocean sounds as recommended in a previous blog. 

Honestly, I did not follow my own advice of going through the answers in detail.  I just wanted to get through them and get my 20 points so I can continue working as a pediatrician.

I now faced just one more chance to ring the bell, there would not be a 3rd chance to get my ticket punched on this relatively easy and useful activity.

This is a very useful activity since it really has value clinically and for preparing for the MOC Pediatric Recertification “secured“ exam.  

In several instances you are presented with very similar patients, i.e. 12 year old with leg pain, but the clinical presentation are quite different.  This is a great exercise in teaching and demonstrating why and how reading the question is so important and is really hitting at differential diagnosis.  

In my next blog, I will tell you how my second attempt went. Stay tuned!

Jumping into the Part 2 MOC Pool

on Wednesday, 01 May 2013. Posted in Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Pediatrics MOC , Pediatrics Recertification, Pediatric recertification, pediatrics board review, Pediatric Maintenance of Certification

Well it is now May and more than ¼ into the calendar year. The deadline for completing the Pediatrics MOC (Maintenance of Certification) cycle including the exam is looming. Since I do need to leave a margin of error, I have decided now is the time to get through Part 2 of the MOC cycle and begin thinking about Part 4. Recall, I already completed Part 1 by having a medical license.

Pediatrics Recertification

I discovered that Parts 2 and Parts 4 are intimately linked like Heckle and Jeckle

Between Parts 2 and Parts 4, I must complete 100 points divided as follows:

  -Part 2 – Lifelong Learning Cognitive Expertise: 40 Points

  -Part 4 - Performance in Practice: 40 Points

 

Therefore, I must get at least 40 points through Part 2 Activities.  There is an additional 20 points that I can decide between Part 2 and Part 4 Activities.  At this point I am not sure which way I will go with this.  This is because Part 4 Performance in Practice is a large unknown. 

 

This still begs the question, if Parts 2 and 4 are activities done in concert with each other, why aren’t these PARTs 2 and 3 with the exam being Part 4.  As if the process isn’t convoluted enough.

 

This is like Billy Crystal inAnalyze This asking ”How can we talk about the first thing without discussing the 2nd thing first???”

 

Part 2 is primarily questions and answers on relatively known territory. In a previous blog I noted that there are 3 options for Part 2.

At the time of that writing I didn’t pay any particular attention to the details of these 3 options. That was because I wasn’t personally going through the process.  I now have learned more and will share that with you now..  Boy this has more subplots and number patterns than an episode of Touch.

The components are as follows with my analysis of each:

 

            Knowledge Self Assessment- While there are a variety of options which you can search for the one I suggest as a no–brainer is the “American Board of Pediatrics General Pediatrics Comprehensive Knowledge Self- assessment, 2013” which consists of 200 multiple choice questions selected from the secure exam (aka Part 3) pool. You get to kill 2 MOC birds with 1 stone. You get 10 “Part 2 points” while practicing for the test and assessing your areas of strength and weaknesses.

You are also told that your chances of passing the secure exam can be predicted based on how you do on this set of questions as follows:

 

Your score

Likelihood of passing the Secure Part 3 Exam

80% or greater

Likely

66% -79%

“Uncertain

65% or less

 FUGGETABOUTIT [1]

 

Pediatric Recertification

 

The best part of all is there is no minimal number correct to pass.  You can also take this as many times as you want and essentially know these questions cold.  You get “immediate feedback“ which simply means you will be told either you answered the question correctly or you answered it incorrectly. In addition, you will be told which answer was correct.

However, you will not be provided with detailed answers. This is where a good review book will come in handy. You can take notes or study in real time regarding the details of the topic being questioned and learn it for the next time the concept is tested or when you come across it clinically, which is supposedly the point of all this.

I was so excited about this that I re-enrolled for another set of questions. After answering the questions again, I got a confirmation of completion email from the ABP which stated that I can check my dashboard to see how it was applied. I assumed I would be getting 10 more points. WRONG! You only get credit for this set of questions once and once only.

 

I really do suggest you take the time to write down the specific topics you do not do well on and START with those topics when reviewing for the Part 3 recertification exam requirement. There are also a limited number of images you have to click on for some of the questions, much like you will have to do on the actual exam.

There are other sets of questions you can choose from.  To my own peril I thought the same rules applied that no passing grade was required.  At this point it appears, that for the other options you need to get 80% correct. Unlike other CME question sets, you do NOT get to answer them over and over until you get them right. Here you only get ONE more opportunity to answer the questions you got wrong.  If you still don’t reach the 80% threshold, that module is not available for you this year.

So I decided to try my hand at the next  option which are:

Subspecialty Questions

Well here again, you have to get at least 80% correct and do not have unlimited attempts to answer the questions you got wrong. After a humiliating attempt to answer subspecialty questions I decided to try my hand at the 3rd Part 2 activity, which is:

Decision Self Assessment Skills

This is worth 20 Part 2 points and is more in line with General Pediatrics. Interestingly, it actually is fun.

Here you are given a patient brief history and are provided with a medical history , physical findings and diagnostic studies. There are 50 such questions.

You then have to either pick a diagnosis, or decide what study to do next etc. There are more than 4 choices here. After going through all this, you are either right or wrong.

Here you also have to get 80% correct which means you can only get 10 wrong in order to hit the bell and get your 20 points.

If you do not get 80% you get to take it again. However if you still get less than 80% on your second chance, you are done and will have to find other activities to get your Part 2 card punched.

In this case you ARE given detailed explanation and summary but only after you have committed to an answer.

I am currently in the middle of this and will update my status with the next blog. If I successfully complete this activity I will have 30 total points (20 here and 10 from the General Pediatric Knowledge Self Assessment)

I will still have to choose another activity worth 10 points to get my 40 Part 2 points.

I will need another 20 Part 2 points if I choose my combination points to be Part 2 rather than Part 4.

Once I complete the Decision Skills section… hopefully successfully I will write about my next steps on the road to MOC.

By the way we invite you to discuss your experiences and if you found any relatively painless approved activities for completing the Part 2 requirement.



[1] Outside of Brooklyn the phrasing is different.