The American Board of Anesthesiology is a network of more than 50,000 anesthesiologists who are committed to providing the highest quality and safest care for patients during some of their most vulnerable moments. We are privileged to develop certification programs that advance the practice of anesthesiology. Our goal is to help physicians be the best they can be every day that they’re in practice. But we don’t do this work alone; it’s a community effort.

Every board-certified anesthesiologist has a role to play in making sure the assessments we develop, the programs we administer and the policies we produce help advance quality and safe patient care. We all pursued board certification because it distinguishes us as having exceptional knowledge and skill. It’s a source of professional distinction, and we want to ensure it continues to mean something to our practices and to the patients we serve.

That’s why it’s so important that we have a shared understanding of why we make the decisions we do and to explain what it means for our specialty, our practices and patients. It is equally important that we hear from you to tell us what’s relevant, what’s working and where there is room for improvement.  

This blog provides a new forum for us to have a collective conversation about issues impacting certification, our specialty and most of all the patients we serve.

In recent years, we’ve sought input from residency and fellowship program directors to understand how our decisions impact their work and how we can enhance training. We’ve worked with our specialty and subspecialty societies to align our programs to best serve physicians’ continuing education needs. And we’ve heard from you through surveys, focus groups, forums, email and by phone.

Your contributions to these conversations have helped spur meaningful changes, particularly in our Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology™ (MOCA®) program.  

As a self-governing profession, we rely on the knowledge and experience of our peers in practice to help fulfill our mission. We are led by a board of 12 practicing anesthesiologists and one public member, and we rely on the diplomate corps to advance the highest standards for the practice of anesthesiology.

We have more than 700 diplomates who lend their expertise and passion for the profession to our mission. They volunteer their time to help produce, administer and set standards for our assessments.

We also have you, thousands of diplomates who can help continuously improve our programs and, in turn, our practices and the care we provide to patients. If you have questions about certification standards, policies or the future direction set by the Board, post them here so we can use your inquiries to start a dialogue. We hope you’ll use this blog to contribute to conversations about the ABA’s work so we can continue to make progress toward advancing our specialty and providing the highest quality and safest anesthesia care to our patients.


About the Author

Dr. Culley is an attending physician and vice chair of research at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an associate professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She is secretary of the ABA’s Board of Directors and serves on the Board’s Credentialing and Continuing Certification and Research Committees.



One comment

  1. Why can’t the highly qualified members in active clinical practice who contribute knowledge or data be compensated with money or at least CE credits for their time and expertise? This process must cost $0 to participating physicians and ABMS must pay us to provide this data they use for marketing themselves to insurers etc. Why is this additional plaque from ABMS necessary when you have the best of CME courses from the society? The public cares for the best quality care, not MOC certification or what you put on your walls. . Has any patient ever asked you if you are ABIM certified? If so how many? These revenue capture programs which were hatched by ABMS have eliminated the clueless physicians from the revenue pool. Show me any other profession that is treated like this by their guilds