Pediatricians Favor New Maintenance-of-Crtification Assessment

By Will Boggs MD

November 07, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Initial feedback from pediatricians supports the feasibility, acceptability and learning experience associated with the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics (MOCA-Peds).

"We sought pediatrician feedback through focus groups and user stakeholder panels in the pilot development phase of MOCA-Peds in 2016," Dr. Laurel K. Leslie and Adam L. Turner of ABP, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, told Reuters Health in a joint email.

"We then launched the pilot in 2017. We had optimistic hopes for MOCA-Peds based on the positive feedback from the groups in 2016 and from participants in the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA)'s MOCA-Minute, a similar longitudinal assessment program, but, launching a program to more than 10,000 people always comes with unknowns."

ABP designed MOCA-Peds as an alternative assessment approach to the existing proctored, closed-book MOC examination.

Turner and Dr. Leslie and their colleagues report pediatrician perspectives on feasibility, acceptability, learning and practice change in the MOCA-Peds 2017 pilot in two articles online November 5 in Pediatrics.

Fourth-quarter responses from more than 4,000 participants (81.4%) showed that most agreed or strongly agreed that questions aligned with the learning objectives (88.2%), assessed clinical judgment (81.8%) and were relevant to the practice of general pediatrics (81.5%) and to their specific practice setting (59.1%).

Most respondents also agreed that the MOCA-Peds was an adequate assessment of fundamental general pediatric practice knowledge (73.7%) and helped one to stay current in general pediatrics (79.6%); were satisfied with it as a replacement for the current part-3 examination (93.1%); would prefer to participate in the MOCA-Peds (88.7%); and were likely to recommend MOCA-Peds to a friend (92.8%).

Overall, 96.7% of general pediatricians and 94.9% of subspecialists planned to participate in the MOCA-Peds to maintain their general-pediatrics certificate.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents agreed that pilot participation helped to identify personal knowledge gaps (77.1%), 60.1% reported that MOCA-Peds helped them to provide better patient care, and 86.6% agreed that MOCA-Peds were useful learning tools.

On the end-of-year survey, 97.6% of pediatricians indicated they had learned, refreshed, or enhanced their medical knowledge as a result of the pilot. Of these, 62% indicated that a knowledge change had led to at least one practice change, and 16.8% planned to make a change moving forward.

"Our biggest surprise was the percentage of pediatricians stating they had made a change in their practice," Turner and Dr. Leslie said. "Some of these related to incorporating new knowledge from updated guidelines in their practice. Other changes, though, were more nuanced. For example, one (clinical) practice change was the increased uptake of using digital resources at the point of care in their clinical practice, having used the same resources to help them answer MOCA-Peds questions."

"Based on the formal and informal feedback we have received to date, we believe those who engage with MOCA-Peds in a meaningful way do find it provides both an assessment as well as an opportunity to learn and keep up-to-date," they said. "For those about to participate, we encourage you to try out MOCA-Peds and let us know your thoughts. The proctored exam is still available for those who would rather take the exam."

Dr. Leslie and Turner added, "Since the initial pilot, the ABP is already offering featured readings (e.g., guidelines, meta-analyses, policy statements) for both the general-pediatrics and subspecialty versions of MOCA-Peds. These featured readings are readily available under the learning objectives and can be reviewed prior to launching any MOCA-Peds questions. We believe this alone will help increase the relevance of the assessment because it provides curation of a few, relatively recent articles that pediatricians have identified as pertinent to the field."


Pediatrics 2019.