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Editorial |

For the Protection of the Public and the Good of the Specialty:  Maintenance of Certification

Jo Buyske, MD
Arch Surg. 2009;144(2):101-103. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2008.556.
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Maintenance of certification—the very term draws an extraordinary variety of reactions from surgeons: confusion, bewilderment, resignation, fear, hostility, boredom, and a desperate desire that it just go away. This year the Archives has selected maintenance of certification and surgical education as the rolling theme topic. There is much to think and write about. Maintenance of certification, or MOC (pronounced em-o-see, not mock!), is in its infancy. Our best hope is that it will be a meaningful tool of professional development, a vehicle to facilitate, promote, and recognize the ongoing effort of surgeons to improve their practice and the care of their patients. Now is the time to give useful input. Let us know of programs and areas that you would like to see included. Let us know what is important to emphasize. Study and write about ways of assessing surgical care. Help us sort out the variables. Manuscripts submitted on the topic during 2009 will be given priority consideration for publication.

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Figure 1.

General competencies as defined by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

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Figure 2.

Maintenance of certification (MOC) program components.

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Figure 3.

Maintenance of certification (MOC) competencies and American Board of Surgery (ABS) requirements. ACS indicates American College of Surgeons; NSQIP, National Surgical Quality Improvement Program; SCIP, Surgical Care Improvement Project; and PQRI, Physician Quality Reporting Initiative.

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