Hospice & Palliative Medicine MOC Exam

  • The ABS, along with several other ABMS member boards, offers a subspecialty certificate in hospice and palliative medicine (HPM). The HPM MOC Exam is offered every even-numbered year to diplomates certified in HPM by the ABS. While diplomates will apply through the ABS, the exam will be administered through the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
  • The exam developed by the ABIM is a one-day exam approximately 8 hours long given through Pearson VUE testing services. An examination blueprint (pdf) (content outline) is available from the ABIM website.
    Next Exam: Fall 2018 (exam registration due by July 1)

When to Apply

  • ABS certificates expire on Dec. 31. Diplomates are eligible to apply for an MOC exam starting 3 years before their certificate's expiration; this includes the final year of certificate validity. Surgeons with lapsed certificates may also apply; see our Lapsed Certificate Policy.
  • Diplomates who apply for two MOC exams in the same year do not need to submit the application materials twice; however application and exam fees must be submitted for each exam.

General Requirements

To be eligible for this exam, applicants must:

  • Certification/MOC: Be certified by the ABS in HPM. Certification may not be revoked. Current certification in general surgery is not required. If you are enrolled in the ABS MOC Program, you must be in compliance with MOC. Diplomates not in compliance cannot apply for the exam until MOC re-entry requirements are met.
  • Medical License: Have a currently registered full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants are required to immediately inform the ABS of any conditions or restrictions in force on any active medical license they hold.
  • Professional Activity: Be in the active practice and/or teaching and/or research and/or administrative activities relevant to HPM. If applicants are providing care to hospitalized patients, they must hold practice privileges at an accredited health care institution. If applicants do not hold privileges, they must provide an explanation on the application form.
  • CME: Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning by completing 60 credits of Category 1 CME over the past two years or recent 24-month period.
  • Adhere to the ABS Ethics and Professionalism Policy.

Application Process

  • Individuals who meet these requirements may apply in even-numbered years for certification through the online application process, which is posted in early spring (see How to Apply). After your application is approved, you will be sent instructions on how to register for this year's exam.
  • Once you are registered for the exam, you will be mailed an exam admission authorization letter with final details and instructions on reserving a place at a computer-testing center.

Exam Opportunities

  • Once your application is approved, you will be granted a maximum of 3 opportunities in 5 years to pass the exam. If you decide not to take the exam in a given year, it is a lost opportunity as the five-year limit is absolute.
  • During the five-year period, individuals who postponed or were unsuccessful will be contacted regarding the next exam; a new application is not necessary.
  • Individuals who exhaust their five-year admissibility period should contact the ABS regarding the readmissibility requirements in effect at that time.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

  • Upon passing the MOC exam, you will be issued a new certificate with an expiration 10 years from the expiration date of your previous certificate. You will also be enrolled in the ABS MOC Program if you are not yet enrolled. The ABS will waive 60 credits of CME with self-assessment toward MOC for this recertification; the the waiver will appear automatically in your CME Repository.
  • Surgeons who achieve ABS recertification may also apply to the AMA to receive 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Please see the AMA website and the direct CME application (pdf) for details.

For specific inquiries, please send an email to the exam coordinator.

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