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Otolaryngology Maintenance of Certification

Otolaryngology Maintenance of Certification
AAO-HNSF Education Resources and Maintenance of Certification

AAO-HNSF offers many education activities to assist individuals participating in maintenance of certification. For a complete list,  view the 2014 Education Opportunities.


AcademyQ: Otolaryngology Knowledge Assessment ToolTM is a mobile app for the iPhone and iPad that includes 400 questions across the eight specialties. Users are provided with instantaneous detailed feedback and they can highlight, take notes, and mark questions for future review.

Cf(O) Clinical Fundamentals

Satisfy the Clinical Fundamentals requirement for Part III of Maintenance of Certification by viewing online versions of the instruction courses of the same title that were presented during the Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM.

Courses available:

Clinical Outcome Measures/Evidence Based Medicine
Treatment of Anaphylaxis

Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO Logo

2013 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM
10 instruction courses on Clinical Fundamentals topic; each satisfies Part III of Maintenance of Certification.


1610-1 Clinical Outcome Measures/Evidence Based Medicine
1710-1 Treatment of Anaphylaxis
2510-1 HIPAA: Updates and What it Means for You
2610-1 DVP: How, When, Why in Otolaryngology
2710-1 Integration of Quality and Safety into Otolaryngology
2810-1 Anesthesia Related Topics for Otolaryngologists
3510-1 Management of the Addicted Surgeon
3610-1 Ethics & Professionalism
3710-1 Pain Management in Head and Neck Surgery
3810-1 Universal Precautions for the Otolaryngologist

Maintenance of Certification for the Otolaryngology Medical Specialty is a program of the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABOto). 

ABOto is the certification board for the otolaryngology – head and neck surgery profession. The Board may issue an appropriate certificate of qualification in otolaryngology (or in a subdivision thereof) to those who show themselves worthy of such certification according to the requirements of training and experience.

The ABOto is located in Houston, Texas, and is a separate and distinct organization from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) located in Alexandria, Virginia, which is the specialty's largest membership organization.

Since 2002, all ABOto diplomates are required to participate in Maintenance of Certification (MOC) which was developed to assist otolaryngologist- head and neck surgeons with staying up-to-date in their specialty. The MOC program is a ten year cycle which involves annual updates on the individual diplomate, self-assessment, evaluation of performance in practice, and an examination the diplomate must pass to renew his/her certificate.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery does not have any oversight involvement in this program.

All questions concerning MOC should be directed to the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is a quality improvement program in which all the ABMS boards participate, and is the response to the very active and prominent national healthcare quality movement. The main purpose of the ten year MOC cycle is to improve patient care provided by physicians after residency and fellowship and fills a void in the certification continuum.

Individuals certified in 2002 and thereafter receive certificates that are valid for ten years. Revalidation is accomplished by satisfactory completion of the ABOto Maintenance of Certification Program, which meets the guidelines established by the American Board of Medical Specialties. MOC is an ABMS initiative that varies in implementation detail from board to board, but all MOC programs consist of four parts:
Part I. Professional Standing
MOC participants must hold a valid certificate issued by the American Board of Otolaryngology; a valid, unrestricted license to practice medicine in all locations where licensed; and hold privileges to practice otolaryngology-head and neck surgery in hospitals or surgical centers accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations.

Part II. Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
MOC participants are required to complete a sufficient number of CME credits to meet their state's requirement for licensure for each license held. Sixty percent of the hours must be specifically related to otolaryngology. The participant is required to successfully complete one ABOto self-assessment module in a specialty area of his/her choice per year.

Part III. Cognitive Expertise
The Maintenance of Certification Examination is a computer-based examination offered annually by the ABOto on one day. The examination consists of approximately 80 multiple-choice questions designed to assess the applicant's cognitive knowledge and clinical judgment.

Part IV. Evaluation of Performance in Practice
Currently under development.