Everything to Know About the COVID-19 ABP Pediatric Certification Updates

May 1, 2020
On April 21, 2020, the American Board of Pediatrics released updates to MOC requirements, MOCA-Peds, and certification exams in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If you’re looking to certify or renew your certification over the next year, here’s what you need to know.

General Pediatrics Certifying Exam 

The initial certifying exam (aka the pediatric board exam or peds boards) will still be offered at computer testing centers on October 13, 14, or 15. Although regular-priced registration was due to end on March 31, 2020, with a $345 late fee applying to registration between April 1st and May 15th, the late fee has been waived. Applicants must register by 3 pm EST on May 15, 2020, to be eligible to take the exam in the fall, and the registration fee is $2,265.

If you’re planning on taking the boards this fall, now is a perfect time to create a study strategy for board review. While clinic schedules are lightened and pediatric inpatient censuses are low, take the time to figure out whether a question bank is right for you (and if so, which one to choose). Rosh Review’s pediatric Qbank has over 1,000 high-yield, ABP-formatted questions complete with comprehensive answer explanations and custom teaching images.

Subspecialty Certifying Exams

Fellows in Adolescent Medicine, Child Abuse Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, and Pediatric Nephrology who were scheduled to take their initial certifying exams in March will be able to take them in August instead. Available dates are August 3, 10, 13, and 20. The dates are not specialty specific, so test takers can choose from any of the four dates. For those who have not yet registered, the late application fee has been waived. Registration is open until 3 pm EST on April 30, 2020, and the registration fee is $2,900. 

The registration deadline of April 30, 2020, with a waived late fee also applies to other upcoming subspecialty initial certifying exams for which the testing dates have not been changed. These include Sports Medicine (July 7–11, 13–18, and 20–21), Pediatric Transplant Hepatology (October 15), Hospice and Palliative Medicine (October 19), Medical Toxicology (October 22), Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (November 4), Pediatric Cardiology (November 5), and Pediatric Pulmonology (November 17). Refunds on exam fees are available for summer and fall exam dates for those who have already applied and wish to withdraw.

MOC cycles ending in 2020

For all physicians whose MOC cycle ends in 2020, MOC points for COVID-19-related activities will be awarded in June 2020 that will fulfill the remainder of any pending Part 2 and Part 4 requirements. These points will be automatically added to all ABP portfolios, and no application or documentation is required from physicians. These pediatricians can then enroll in their next MOC cycle. For those whose MOC cycle ends in 2020 who have already completed their Part 2 and Part 4 requirements, 25 points for Part 2 activities and 25 points for Part 4 activities will be automatically applied in January 2021 to count towards the next MOC cycle. Although all of these MOC points are being automatically awarded, physicians must still log in to their accounts by December 17, 2020, to enroll in their next MOC cycle. There is no change to MOC fees at this time.

MOC cycles not ending in 2020

For all other MOC cycles not ending in 2020, the ABP will award 25 Part 2 points and 25 Part 4 points in June 2020. These points will be automatically added and require no application or documentation from the physician. There is no change to MOC fees at this time.


For those participating in MOCA-Peds for recertification, two additional dropped quarters will be added for 2020. The four lowest quarters are already dropped when final scores are calculated, and these two additional dropped quarters will apply in 2020 if needed. If any two scores during 2020 negatively impact the overall final score, they will be dropped when it is calculated. 

You can access the entire ABP press release for further information.

Good luck!

By Morgan Leafe, MD, MHA

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