ABEM News Express

Exciting Changes Coming to ABEM’s Maintenance of Certification Program

The American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine is excited to announce changes to its Maintenance of Certification Program (MOCP).  Over the last few years, the American Board of Medical Specialty boards have piloted or made the permanent decision to move away from their high-stakes 10-year exams in favor of programs with a stronger focus on longitudinal learning.  The ABEM Board has followed these developments closely and recently approved changes to improve the ABEM program.  These new changes will move ABEM from Maintenance of Certification to Continuous Certification.

Effective January 1, 2021, Diplomates will be able to assess their knowledge in a more convenient, flexible, and relevant way.  In place of the 10-year MOCP exam will be a new requirement, titled CoreComp.  This is an online program that presents a smaller number of questions to Diplomates each year that are designed to ensure the core competency areas of EDX medicine are being met. 

The ABEM is implementing continuous assessment for all diplomates in a way that honors their current 10-year certificates and eases the transition for those who will be close to closing out a 10-year cycle in the next few years.

All ABEM diplomates will be able to access CoreComp in January 2021. Diplomates who are at least 5 years away from certificate expiration will enter a CoreComp yearly assessment cycle prior to their certificate expiration date to enable them to continue to maintain continuous certification once their current cycle ends. The ABEM hopes that all diplomates will use CoreComp to help them reveal knowledge gaps and improve their EDX skills — and to take advantage of the available CME that will be offered to anyone participating.

“This is really a great way for us to continue best practices, eliminate high-stakes exams, and provide the best opportunity for ABEM Diplomates to easily keep their certification current,” said AANEM Executive Director, Shirlyn Adkins. “As a small board, it is a big undertaking to make these changes. I will be excited to see Diplomates using the new program in the coming year and hearing how they are liking the new process,” said Anna Vredenburg, Professional Standards Sr. Coordinator. 

Requirements of Continuous Certification

Here are the key requirements for the new Continuous Certification program.
  • Participate in CoreComp each year
  • Record 150 CME every 10 years
  • Hold an active medical license
  • Maintain primary board certification 
  • Pay a yearly administrative fee.   The yearly fee helps covers IT costs to administer the program as well as staff time working with physicians to create the CoreComp questions and references, setting up CoreComp, communication with physicians, answering questions etc.
Because the new Continuous Certification program requires annual participation, ABEM certification will never expire as long as the Continuous Certification requirements are being met. 

Details About CoreComp

CoreComp is a unique program developed by the ABEM.  As part of CoreComp, once the administrative fee is paid each year, Diplomates will gain access to the initial set of 20 questions.  The questions will be presented in 5 categorical bundles of 4 questions each.  Diplomates must pass each bundle with a score of 75% or higher to pass (3 of 4 questions correct).  If the bundle isn’t passed, an additional bundle of questions from that category will be presented. Diplomates will have plenty of time each year to answer the questions- from January 1 until November 30.  Although, we highly encourage you to take the questions earlier in the year to give you time to raise your score if needed!  The questions are not timed, so they can be answered at the Diplomate’s own pace.  Diplomates may use books or other online resources, but not their colleagues to help answer questions.  Immediate feedback, references and rational are provided for each question.  You will be provided immediate feedback on whether you got the question right or wrong and an explanation.  The goal here is learning, not to have Diplomates fail. 


When developing the new program requirements, the ABEM wanted to take into account those who have recently taken the ABEM Initial or MOCP Exams to make a transition plan that made sense based on when their current certification cycle started or was due to be renewed.  Transition plans were developed based on the year of anticipated expiration of a Diplomate’s certificate.  The ABEM is encouraging all Diplomates to visit www.abemexam.org/MyContinuousCert and log in using their ABEM/AANEM username and password to see their specific transition plan.  This will also provide Diplomates with an opportunity to ensure that they are up to date with recorded CME and past or current annual fees.  To participate in the CoreComp component, Diplomates must be current with their annual fees and working toward the 150 CME prior to their cycle expiring. 

For those Diplomates whose certificates expire in 2020, you will have the option of sitting for the last MOCP Examination ever offered or joining the CoreComp program right away in January 2021.

Additional information about MOCP-Continuous Certification can be found online at www.abemexam.org/MyContinuousCert. Additional details will be added to that site as more information becomes available. 

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