Getting Feedback on MOCA-Peds from Pediatricians Across the U.S.

By Adam Turner, MPH, PMP

Certified pediatricians – called diplomates of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) – have played a significant role in shaping the pilot of the ABP’s new approach to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 3 assessment, MOCA-Peds. 

The ABP has been working with an independent research institution, RTI International, to reach out to pediatricians and elicit their feedback. Contracting with a respected, external research organization was important to the ABP to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and fairness to diplomates.

In January 2016, more than 3,200 diplomates responded to RTI’s open call for pediatricians to participate in providing feedback about MOCA-Peds. RTI randomly selected diplomates who represented a range of ages, geographies, and practice types: 37 diplomates are serving as a user group that meets every 4-6 weeks to develop the model and test the IT platform. About 300 additional diplomates are participating in focus groups this year.

Based on feedback from these groups, a number of changes have been made to the pilot. For example:

  • Learning objectives on which questions are based will be released before the year starts.
  • If MOCA-Peds replaces the secure exam, flexibility will be built into the system to allow for personal circumstances in diplomates’ lives. 
  •  A specific MOCA-Peds Code of Conduct has been created that is easy to understand and specific to this platform.
  • Sample questions will be released prior to the pilot launch.
  • Questions on emerging issues (which will not be scored) will be offered in late 2017 and will let us try out an article-based system.

Additionally, modifications have been made to every major webpage of the MOCA-Peds platform based on user group feedback. This feedback has ranged from general design suggestions to specific ideas, such as adding a bookmark option to facilitate easy re-visiting of questions at a later time. 

These diplomates also have given us ideas for future changes we will consider, such as offering a broader array of questions that increasingly test reasoning and clinical judgment, as well as more frequently incorporating graphics and images into the questions. 

Diplomates also suggested that the assessment cycle for MOCA-Peds be five years and align with MOC cycles. 
Overall, the feedback and perspectives offered by diplomates have significantly molded the MOCA-Peds pilot. We look forward to additional suggestions during the pilot. These suggestions will be instrumental as we continue to build a more meaningful assessment and learning experience. 

Who is eligible for the MOCA-Peds pilot in January 2017? Certified pediatricians who are meeting the requirements of MOC in general pediatrics and who have a general pediatrics exam due in 2017. Instructions on how to apply for the pilot will be available beginning September 6, 2016.

About the AuthorAdam Turner, MPH, PMP

Adam Turner, MPH, PMP, joined the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) in 2015 as Senior Research Associate. His work supports the newly-formed research department, as well as the Research Advisory Committee and ABP Foundation. Previous to joining the ABP, Adam has invested much of his career to international healthcare management and IT consulting.