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MOC Part 3: Cognitive Expertise (certification/recertification)

You must successfully complete the cognitive examination every ten (10) years. The MOC Part 3 recertification exam administered by the ABPN. To prepare for the MOC cognitive examinations, psychiatrists should keep up with the latest research and clinical developments in their field, review specialty-specific journals and practice guidelines, and attend relevant CME programs.

  • Prior to sitting for the exam, physicians must participate in and complete all MOC requirements (see MOC Part 2 and MOC Part 4) by the time of application.
  • Application and Dates: MOC cognitive examinations for Psychiatry are now administered twice each year, early in the calendar year and in the fall. Application deadlines for MOC cognitive examinations are five to six months prior to the examination. For example, if you were planning to take the test in February 2022, you would need to apply for the recertification examination by October 3, 2021. View the ABPN Exam Schedule (.pdf) to learn the exam dates and application deadlines.
  • Combined (formerly modular) MOC cognitive examinations are available for physicians who wish to re-certify in more than one specialty and/or subspecialty at the same time.

Please note: The ABPN will randomly audit MOC Part 2 and 4 activities of 5% of the applicants for the examination. Those applicants chosen for the audit process must attest completion of all current MOC requirements, as well as provide documentation (so be sure to keep all of your CME, SA certificates, and completed Performance in Practice forms.)

How APA Can Help You

APA can help members taking the recertification exam with the following activities:

  • Focus: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry covers the ABPN recertification examination topic outline in four year cycles. You will stay up to date and your annual subscription includes an ABPN approved self-assessment and PIP modules. View more information and learn how to subscribe.
  • APA Learning Center provides APA members the ability to earn and track CME/MOC credit activities and certificates as part of your Transcript (my portfolio). APA transfers your transcript data monthly to ABPN to appear in your ABPN Physician Folios.

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