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ABP Increases MOC Options to Tackle Health Disparities

Bottom line: Pediatricians can earn MOC credit for diversity and inclusion work they are already doing.

Clear evidence links profound health care disparities to race and ethnicity, even though both are social constructs without a biologic basis.* As outlined in the ABP’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan, we believe all pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists have a role in learning about structural racism, implicit bias, cultural humility, structural competency, and similar topics that help us better understand health care disparities and advance child health.

To support this effort, there are several new opportunities for pediatricians to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a series of educational videos based on the “Pediatrics for the 21st Century (Peds 21)” program at the 2020 AAP National Conference. “Fighting Racism to Advance Child Health Equity” explores what these concepts mean for pediatricians in our practices, institutions, and communities, and how we can promote health equity by applying an anti-racist lens to the systems shaping health and medicine. MOC Part 2 credit will be awarded after completion of the activity and a review of the required opportunity for self-reflection.

At the American Board of Pediatrics, we recognize that many of you are already learning about and grappling with these topics at an unprecedented rate, and many of these topics are delivered by organizations outside of the medical community and are thus not registered as an MOC Part 2 activity. To honor this work, we are now offering a way for board-certified pediatricians to claim MOC Part 2 credit for diversity, equity, and inclusion-related (DEI) learning. Through the application in your ABP Portfolio, you will be asked to share the DEI-educational topic and type of learning activity (e.g., lecture, workshop, podcast) and answer two questions about lessons learned and application to practice. After reviewing your responses, we will then award MOC Part 2 credit to your ABP Portfolio based on the number of hours you claim.

We also are interested in learning how pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists are addressing DEI in quality improvement (QI) work and supporting you, as pediatricians, with that journey. Therefore, our MOC Part 4 QI applications now include links to resources and questions about whether data were stratified by race/ethnicity. Additionally, we will soon launch a new MOC Part 4 QI project template on screening for food insecurity. This template should be available in October 2021, and you will be able to access it through your ABP Portfolio.

We welcome your additional ideas about how we as a profession can reduce health disparities and we look forward to partnering with you on this critical ABP-wide endeavor to eliminate disparities in child health outcomes. Thank you for all the work you do to advance equity in the care of children.


About the Author

Keith J. Mann, MD, MEd

Keith J. Mann, MD, MEd, is Vice President for Continuing Certification at the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). As lead of continuing certification (also known as Maintenance of Certification or MOC), his focus is on evolving the program to be increasingly relevant and valuable for pediatricians while upholding the high standards of being a certified pediatrician or pediatric subspecialist. He provides expertise in education, health care quality, and patient safety. Before joining the ABP leadership in 2018, he volunteered on various ABP committees for 15 years. He is certified in general pediatrics and is maintaining his certification. 


*Trent M, Dooley DG, Dougé J, AAP Section on Adolescent Health, AAP Council on Community Pediatrics, AAP Committee on Adolescence. The impact of racism on child and adolescent health. Pediatrics. 2019 Aug;144(2):e20191765. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-1765.