Continuing Certification

What I Learned from MOCA Minute

Like most anesthesiologists, Mukesh Sahu, M.D., has a full schedule. He is finishing the construction on his new home, putting his current house up for sale, and hosting out-of-town relatives—all while attending to patients in his private practice in Sacramento, Calif.

As Dr. Sahu points out, the schedule of an anesthesiologist is “pretty unpredictable and things change constantly.” It’s a balancing act between personal and professional demands, like spending time with family and making sure he stays up to date on his medical knowledge. For Dr. Sahu, MOCA Minute® is a fast and effective way to learn new information relevant to his practice—like the time he discovered he’d been referencing outdated recommendations for stents.

That was news to me

“We’ve always learned that when people get a certain type of stent they should wait a certain amount of time before undergoing elective surgery in order to minimize the risk of perioperative complications. I thought the recommendation was to wait a year,” he said.

When Mukesh got a MOCA Minute question asking for the recommended waiting period for a certain type of stent, he responded according to his medical knowledge. As with each MOCA Minute question, Dr. Sahu was prompted to report how confident he was in his answer. “I was sure I’d gotten the answer right,” he said. He’d answered incorrectly. Surprised, Sahu read through the question’s rationale, critique and associated references.

“It hadn’t gotten down to us. When you’re not in an academic setting you don’t always hear the latest information right away. That’s where MOCA Minute is really helpful. Now, we have this new piece of knowledge that we wouldn’t have known had it not been for this question.”

– Mukesh Sahu, M.D., D.ABA

“I learned that the recommended wait time is actually six months instead of a year based on the newest evidence. That was news to me,” he said.

Following this experience, Sahu consulted with his colleagues. Was he the only one who hadn’t known the recommendation had changed? When he asked them the same MOCA Minute question, they all answered incorrectly, too. They hadn’t heard about the new recommendations either.

“It hadn’t gotten down to us. When you’re not in an academic setting, you don’t always hear the latest information right away. That’s where MOCA Minute is really helpful. Now, we have this new piece of knowledge that we wouldn’t have known had it not been for this question,” said Dr. Sahu.

MOCA Minute is designed to cultivate a community of learners. While it does help diplomates determine how well they’re

maintaining their knowledge, judgment and skills, it’s not a high stakes exam. When physicians share what they’ve learned using MOCA Minute with their colleagues, they are expanding the knowledge base of the whole anesthesiologist community, benefitting the patients they serve.

When diplomates answer a MOCA Minute question incorrectly, they’re given additional questions on the same topic—and even the same question—later for continuous reassessment. When Dr. Sahu got this question again, he remembered it. “It stuck in my head,” he said, “and I got it right.”

What makes MOCA Minute valuable for busy anesthesiologists?

For the most part, Dr. Sahu feels MOCA Minute questions are relevant and fair. “You’re not being served tricky questions like, ‘What’s the molecular structure of this particular drug,’” he says. While that information is important, the daily practice of anesthesia doesn’t rely on knowing the answer to those types of questions. “But, knowing the biggest risk for this particular nerve block or the worst-case

“[Answering MOCA Minute questions means we] learn when we want to and not when we feel like we have to.”

scenario for a particular procedure helps us be better anesthesiologists. Those are the types of questions we always get on MOCA Minute.”

MOCA Minute allows board-certified anesthesiologists to continuously assess their medical knowledge by answering questions that pertain to his or her practice. (Diplomates can customize the types of questions they see in their practice profile at any time.) For Dr. Sahu and his colleagues, MOCA Minute is valuable because of its flexibility. “We can answer as many or as few MOCA Minute questions as we want at any given time, and we can choose to do them when it’s most convenient for us. We’re not taking time away from work or family to study for a massive eight hour test every 10 years just to forget everything a couple of months later. Basically, we can learn when we want to and not when we feel like we have to.”

The image above illustrates how to modify your practice profle.  Step 1: Click on “Review Your Progress” from the portal’s homepage. Step 2: Click on “Modify Practice Profile” within the Part 3 section. Step 3: Define percentages based on your areas of practice. Then, select your primary practice location.

About Mukesh Sahu, M.D.

Mukesh Sahu is a board-certified anesthesiologist who attended medical school at UCSF before completing his anesthesiology residency at UC Davis Medical Center.  He has been in practice in Sacramento, CA for just over ten years, enjoying a diverse case load at a busy hospital within the Kaiser Permanente Health System.

We polled board-certified anesthesiologists via social media and the weekly Monday MOCA Minute reminder email to see if they felt MOCA Minute had taught them something new or helped to maintain their medical knowledge. We invite you to provide your own assessment of MOCA Minute in the poll below.



  1. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mukesh. I’m glad to hear that MOCA Minute has proven to be a valuable continuous learning tool for you and for your colleagues. Other diplomates have suggested that we should offer CME credit for answering MOCA Minute questions and it’s something that we plan to explore.

  2. I like MOCA minute questions format. Honestly, I am learning better and maintaining my knowledge more consistently with these questions than a recertification exam. This is great substitute for useless and stressful exam. I am all in favor.

  3. Hi,
    What happens if for MOCA minute questions the score is less than 0.1? What does it mean? Can you make up, do it again?
    Thank you

    1. You may use your MOCA Minute Knowledge Gaps Report and Question History in your portal to identify areas you can work on to improve your performance over time. If you are not meeting the MOCA Minute standard in the year your certificate is expiring, you can take and pass the ASPEX Exam to avoid losing your certification. For a more detailed explanation or guidance, please call our Communications Center at 866-999-7501.