ABS MOC PROGRAM
1. The American Board of Surgery. ABS
Newsletter. Report from the chair. 2014.
Available at: www.absurgery.org/default.
jsp?newsletter. Accessed May 7, 2015.
2. Fuchs VR, Milstein A. The $640 billion
question—why does cost-effective
care diffuse so slowly? N Engl J Med.
3. Cohen ME, Liu Y, Ko CY, Hall BL.
Improved surgical outcomes for ACS NSQIP
hospitals over time: Evaluation of hospital
cohorts with up to 8 years of participation.
Ann Surg. 2015 Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print].
4. Hakkarainen T W, Steele SR, Bastaworous
A, et al. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs and the risk for anastomotic failure:
A report from Washington State’s Surgical
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or her participation. The board does not collect, review, or otherwise scrutinize an individual’s specific results.
The ABS recognizes that practice improvement is a multifaceted process. Simply showing up for a CME course or entering
cases into a registry is unlikely to improve care on its own.
Rather, surgeons should use self-assessment opportunities to
demonstrate that new knowledge or skills have been acquired,
and practice assessment activities to view and analyze their individual results. More importantly, these results should be used
to develop an action plan for improvement. There is good evidence that active participation in a national or state registry can
improve quality of care, often through the identification of best
practices. 3, 4
Future of ABS MOC
ABS MOC is a surgeon-defined national standard that formally
documents many of the activities surgeons already do to stay
current in their field. Participating in the ABS MOC Program demonstrates a surgeon’s commitment to remain up to date in his or
her specialty and to strive for improved outcomes and patient care.
Just like changes in medical practice, MOC will evolve over
time to reflect new standards and best practices. The measurement tools available will undoubtedly improve in the coming
years. The ABS Board of Directors is focused on making ABS
MOC a more useful and meaningful process for surgeons without adding to the administrative burden surgeons already face.
ABS leaders are looking at innovative programs under development at other ABMS boards and organizations involved in
quality improvement. However, we know that any requirements
we establish will affect approximately 30,000 surgeons across
the U.S. who practice in a wide range of practice environments.
We are listening to feedback from our diplomates and affiliated
societies and will take it into account as we continue to develop
ABS MOC, while at the same time staying mindful of our duty
to the public and our privilege of self-regulation.
Participation in ABS MOC demonstrates to both patients
and peers that you are making a dedicated effort to improve the
care you provide. As we move into the next decade of MOC, the
ABS appreciates your involvement and welcomes your input.
Suggestions, comments, and questions may be sent to moc@