The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) offers a rigorous certification process that requires anesthesiologists to successfully complete their residency, earn licensure from their state and pass a battery of written and oral exams to earn initial certification. Upon earning certification, anesthesiologists are immediately enrolled in the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology® (MOCA®) program.
To help busy physicians integrate learning and retention into their everyday practice, the ABA developed and began piloting a continuous short-term testing in 2014 that incorporated advances in technology and adult learning science. The ABA developed a mobile MOCA Minute app so diplomates could easily access and answer questions at their convenience. Due to its success, in 2018, the ABA transitioned MOCA Minute from a pilot to a permanent program component for all diplomates participating in continuing certification.
When we enter the operating room as patients, we trust that our medical team has the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure our safety throughout the procedure. The anesthesiologist is our advocate in preventing pain and distress, managing our sedation, keeping us calm, and ensuring our essential body functions, such as breathing, are stable during surgery. The ABA’s groundbreaking work in the use of longitudinal assessment to support the learning and retention of physician knowledge has fundamentally transformed how board-certified physicians across specialties keep their medical knowledge current and demonstrate that they are actively doing so.
Knowing how to manage our own learning has never been more important. The opportunities to do so have never been more available.
Robert Bjork, Ph.D., distinguished research professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)