ABPTS MOSC Essentials: What You Need to Know

If you’re like me, I thought I was finished with specialization stuff once I got my exam results.


That’s actually only the start.

While the case report & exam are crucial first steps in the specialty certification process, they are technically only step one: becoming a board certified specialist. Maintaining your board certification is an ongoing process that demonstrates your commitment to continued learning & growth throughout your OncoPT career. I’m not going to lie: I was BIG MAD when I got my MOSC reminder letter less than a month after receiving my test results.  So I promptly filed that letter away for future Elise to handle.

Now that I’m actually going through my first round of MOSC requirements, I needed some help & encouragement.  So I turned to my good friend, Dr. Jen Bernstein, who now serves as the APTA Oncology Specialization Chair. Today on the podcast, Jen dives into her own MOSC experience, how she tackled the requirements while balancing a busy work & social life, & what she recommends for clinicians starting their own MOSC process.

No matter if MOSC is just around the corner for you (or several years away), you do NOT want to miss this step-by-step tutorial on how to accomplish your specialty certification & maintenance goals.

Listen now!

MOSC = Maintenance of Specialty Certification

First of all, the MOSC process is for clinicians who have already obtained their initial certification in oncology physical therapy from ABPTS.

If you have not yet obtained your initial ABPTS oncology certification, check out these free resources to get started:

The MOSC cycle lasts for 10 years, starting from the date of initial certification. As Jen puts it, “At years 3, 6, & 9, you have check-ins” to keep you on track for the big picture cycle.  You will need to renew your certification every 10 years.

What to know about MOSC

Many of the things you are ALREADY DOING as an OncoPT can count towards your MOSC requirements.  For example, every 3 years, you have to submit proof of your current, unrestricted PT licensure.  If you’re practicing, you already have this. On a related note, you must also submit proof of 200 hours of direct patient care within oncology.  If you work with oncology patients, it’s easy to rack up those hours in no time.

Next, you need to submit evidence of your ongoing participation in professional development/service within oncology.  This means at least 10 MOSC credits total within 2 of the three categories every three years.  AKA you should accumulate at least 30 MOSC credits across the three categories by year 9.

Categories of MOSC Activities:

  1. Category 1 – direct patient care hours, clinical supervision or clinical consultation, subject matter expert, committee participation, item writing for specialty certification exam, task force or work group participation, administrative activities, other professional services
  2. Category 2 – completion of con-ed course or residency/fellowship in specialty area; teaching college/university course/con-ed course in specialty area
  3. Category 3 – professional presentations, research activities, professional writing

Check out this table for examples of MOSC Activities.

When to *start* your MOSC process

Give yourself plenty of time to complete the MOSC process.  Jen recommends that new specialists make a plan & start documenting your activities within that first year.  That way, year 3 doesn’t sneak up on you, & now you’re trying to remember what con-ed courses you took years ago.  A spreadsheet or notebook is a great way to document these MOSC activities until you actually input them in the ABPTS online portal. For the case reflection, you will *most likely* not need as much time as your initial case report.  But that doesn’t mean you can procrastinate & then cram, hoping for the best. Jen recommends writing your case reflection about a case you’re proud of & would like to teach about.  That doesn’t mean this endeavor still isn’t challenging, but it’s definitely another opportunity to be really proud of the work you’re doing.

Check out these resources on maintaining your specialty certification:

ABPTS – Maintain Your Certification

Start Your MOSC Process with the online ABPTS portal

About Dr. Jen Bernstein, PT:

After graduating with her doctorate of physical therapy from Northeastern University in Boston in 2013, Jen moved 640 miles away from her home in New York to follow her dream of being an acute care pediatric physical therapist. Over the past eight years, she has built a career and found her true passion, working with pediatric oncology patients in the inpatient setting. Jen has played an integral role in program development for the oncology and bone marrow transplant population within her acute care institution. Her love for this patient population led her to pursue and achieve her board certification in oncology in 2020. She is excited to embrace the opportunities within the APTA Oncology section such as peer mentorship and item writing. In her spare time, Jen loves to travel, spend time with family and friends and is training for her second half marathon! 

Listen to Jen’s previous interviews on TheOncoPT Podcast:

Connect with Jen:

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