Continuing Certification

MOCA Users’ Group – Visioning for the Future

Over the past 18 months, I have had the privilege of working with a group of colleague anesthesiologists on the American Board of Anesthesiology’s (ABA) continuing certification users’ group. Our backgrounds are quite diverse—we come from different parts of the country, represent different types of practices (academic vs. private), and have varying clinical practices (generalists vs. subspecialty focused). Through our work with the ABA, we have provided frank feedback on a whole host of user metrics, ranging from the simple (e.g. color of a background screen) to the more complex and philosophical (e.g. incorporation of AI and AR for future educational opportunities).

Having worked with young physicians in other specialties through my advocacy work in the American Medical Association (AMA), I do understand that some have an unfavorable view of Maintenance of Certification. I’m sure that there are anesthesiologists out there who are not fans of participating in Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology® (MOCA®) program. The users’ group has given feedback both as current and future participants of MOCA, and made efforts to represent our colleagues, peers, and partners. The ABA has been very receptive in listening to our comments, concerns, and recommendations, remaining agile and progressive in their efforts to create a user-friendly and sustainable model for this latest iteration of MOCA

I think it’s important to note that this will most certainly not be the final version of MOCA, which is definitely a good thing. There will undoubtedly be advances in our specialty, and the education of these developments will be incorporated through a variety of the educational offerings of MOCA, most notably MOCA Minute®. Similarly, the general push toward value-based healthcare, 

will allow opportunities for each of us to fulfill quality and collaborative components which are part of MOCA.

One topic which particularly excites me is the possibility of incorporating new learning modalities like machine learning and augmented reality into MOCA. Currently, MOCA Minute does, in fact, adapt and learn based on user responses, the temporal nature of knowledge acquisition and potential areas of knowledge deficiency. Gazing into the crystal ball, however, I think it’s possible to envision a scenario where participants in MOCA might be able to interface with a computer-based clinical environment where the user is prompted to respond to an ever-changing clinical scene (much like each of us find in the OR every day).

It has been a surprisingly enjoyable experience to serve as part of the continuing certification users’ group—I’ve come away excited to see the latest user interfaces. Lastly, if you are interested in providing constructive feedback to the ABA, I’d encourage you to reach out to them directly; they remain committed to placing their diplomates at the center of their work to enhance continuing certification.