ABFM Maintenance of Certification (MOC): Does Completion of Professional Development Programs Affect Quality of Patient Care?

Study Description and Methods

This pilot study investigates the effect of two professional development programs on the quality of care delivered by physicians to patients with diabetes mellitus. The programs are the Self-Assessment Module (SAM) and the Performance in Practice Module (PPM). This investigation is done with the aid of the electronic sub-network Distributed Ambulatory Research in Therapeutics Network (DARTNet), which collects, collates, and analyzes quality metrics from hundreds of primary care physicians through the physician’s electronic health records.

Specific Aims

The aims of this pilot project are to determine:

  1. The willingness of individual physicians to participate and share their data;
  2. The ability to obtain the requisite data for study physicians from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) on their completion (with completion dates) of SAMs and PPMs related to diabetes and to other medical and health conditions;
  3. Whether we can develop an approach for combining the various selected components of clinical indicators into analytically useful construct(s) which have reasonable face validity; and
  4. Whether physicians' completion of SAM(s) and/or PPM(s) relates to significant differences in their patients' quality of care.


This project is scheduled to be completed by March 14, 2011.


This study is currently under analysis.

Key Findings and Publications

Do Professional Development Programs for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Affect Quality of Patient Care?(7 page PDF) James M. Galliher, Brian K. Manning, Stephen M. Petterson, L. Miriam Dickinson, Elias C. Brandt, Elizabeth W. Staton, Robert L. Phillips, and Wilson D. Pace. J Am Board Fam Med 2014;27:19 -25.

Contact Information

For additional information about this study, please contact:

Brian Manning, MPH, CHES
Associate Research Director
AAFP National Research Network
1-800-274-2237 x3179

This study is funded by grants from the American Board of Family Medicine, Inc., and ABFM Foundation, Inc.