American Board of Internal Medicine home page

Initial Certification indicates that physicians have met rigorous standards through intensive study, accredited training and evaluation and that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care.

MOC is a professionally determined standard that attests that an internist is staying current in knowledge and practice throughout his/her career.

For more than 75 years, Certification by ABIM has stood for the highest standard in internal medicine and its 20 subspecialties.

Section: Medical Oncology Maintenance of Certification Exam

Medical Oncology MOC Exam Content

2017 Medical Oncology MOC Exam Blueprint

In 2016, ABIM updated the Medical Oncology MOC exam blueprint (pdf)—the exam content outline—to ensure the exam reflects what medical oncologists find most important.

  • An invitation to review the MOC blueprint was sent to all medical oncologists holding valid certification in the field.
  • Participants were asked to rate the frequency of blueprint topics in their practice and the importance of individual tasks (e.g., diagnosis, patient care) within those topics.
  • These ratings, along with Medicare patient visit data, informed adjustments to the distribution of medical content areas.
  • Going forward, blueprint review will occur on an ongoing basis to ensure that all MOC assessments reflect what medical oncologists themselves judge to be important to know in their practice.
  • The blueprint shows which topics were rated low-frequency and reports the importance ratings for all topics and tasks in the blueprint.
  • The blueprint also describes how ABIM is using the ratings to update the MOC exam by emphasizing high-importance content and limiting low-frequency topics.

Exam Content

The detailed Medical Oncology Maintenance of Certification exam blueprint (pdf) includes content areas covered and their relative percentages on a typical exam.

Exam Administration

Multiple editions, or “forms,” of the exam are used, and they may differ in question order and content. Some questions require the interpretation of illustrative materials such as electrocardiograms, radiographs and photomicrographs (e.g., blood films, Gram stains, urine sediments).

Exam Development

A complete description of the process used to develop ABIM exams is available in How Exams Are Developed. Topics include:

  • Pretesting
  • Question content criteria
  • Question-writing process
  • Question review/editing process
  • Relevance review

Question Format

The exam consists of single best answer questions only. This type of question consists of a brief statement, case history, graph or picture followed by a question and list of possible options. You must choose the one answer that is better than the others; note that other options may be partially correct. Familiarizing yourself with the question format in advance may help you work more effectively. Take the tutorial.

Exam Day Schedule

The Medical Oncology MOC exam will take approximately 10 hours. If you took this exam previously, please note that the schedule is new beginning Fall 2016.

The day is divided into four sessions, each containing up to 60 multiple-choice questions.

Action Time Allotted
Registration Varies
Tutorial Optional, up to 30 minutes
Instructions and Pledge of Honesty Up to 10 minutes
First Session Up to 2 hours (maximum 60 questions)
Break Optional, up to 100 minutes (divided between 3 breaks)*
Second Session Up to 2 hours (maximum 60 questions)
Break Optional, up to 100 minutes (divided between 3 breaks)*
Third Session Up to 2 hours (maximum 60 questions)
Break Optional, up to 100 minutes (divided between three breaks)*
Fourth Session Up to 2 hours (maximum 60 questions)
Optional Survey Up to 10 minutes
Total Approximately 10 hours

You will have 100 minutes of available break time to use during your examination. The amount of break time you use after each test session will be subtracted from the amount of available break time. For instance, if you take a 10-minute break after session one, the amount of break time remaining for the exam will be reduced to 90 minutes.

Copyright and Examination Non-Disclosure Policy

All ABIM materials are protected by the federal Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. Access to all such materials, as further detailed below, is strictly conditioned upon agreement to abide by ABIM's rights under the Copyright Act and to maintain examination confidentiality.

ABIM examinations are confidential, in addition to being protected by federal copyright and trade secret laws. Candidates and diplomates who undertake examinations agree that they will not copy, reproduce, adapt, disclose or transmit examinations, in whole or in part, before or after taking an examination, by any means now known or hereafter invented. They further agree that they will not reconstruct examination content from memory, by dictation, or by any other means or otherwise discuss examination content with others. Candidates and Diplomates further acknowledge that disclosure or any other use of ABIM examination content constitutes professional misconduct and may expose them to criminal as well as civil liability, and may also result in ABIM's imposition of penalties against them, including but not limited to, invalidation of examination results, exclusion from future examinations, suspension or revocation of Board Certification and other sanctions.

With respect to ABIM's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) products, including its medical knowledge modules and ABIM PIMs Practice Improvement Modules®, candidates agree that they will not copy, reproduce or make any adaptations of such materials in any manner; and will not assist someone else in the infringement or misuse of these or any other ABIM-copyrighted works.