ANE Clinical Resources

Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA)

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Department of Anesthesiology’s Patient Simulation Laboratory (PSL) has been an integral tool for anesthesia simulation education for nearly 20 years!  During this time, the PSL has provided state of the science simulation education and training for the full spectrum of anesthesiology learners including medical students, residents, fellows, CRNAs, allied health professionals and board certified anesthesiologists with the explicit goal to cultivate and nurture the critical cognitive, clinical and communication skills required in the complex field of anesthesiology.

The USU Patient Simulation Lab is accredited by the  American Society of Anesthesiologists   as a MOCA® site for ABA Diplomates seeking recertification.  This course will satisfy the Part 4 Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement simulation education component.  Information regarding requirements for fulfilling MOCA® is available at the ABA   website.

While the mission of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is to educate, train and prepare uniformed services health professionals, officers and leaders to directly support the Military Health System, the National Security and National Defense Strategies of the United States and the readiness of our Armed Forces, we do invite civilians to attend our MOCA course.  We all benefit from the variety of experiences both our civilian and military colleagues bring to the course. 


MOCA® and Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology® are registered trademarks of the The American Board of Anesthesiology, Inc. 

For additional course information, please contact:

CAPT Dale Szpisjak (


Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate the management of significant hypoxemia from any cause, including the difficult airway. 
  2. Demonstrate the management of significant hemodynamic instability.
  3. Demonstrate understanding of human factors as related to errors and safety in anesthesia
  4. Demonstrate principles and practice of teamwork and communication

Title: Crisis and Error Management: A MOCA Simulation Experience

Duration: 7.5 hours
Time: 7:30 am – 3:00 pm

The USU MOCA Simulation Course is a fun but intense and fast paced course.  The day will begin with an orientation to the ABA MOCA Part IV goals and requirements followed by a round table discussion of human factor theories as they pertain to medical errors, accidents, and incidents.   Participants will then be orientated to the Patient Simulator Lab for familiarization with our simulated operating room environment. Each participant will have the opportunity to participate in a clinical scenario as the primary anesthesiologist (affectionately known as the “Hot Seat”) as well as assistant to the anesthesiologist.  When not actively involved in a scenario, course participants will be able to remotely observe the scenario as it evolves in real time.  Scenarios will be followed by an interactive and instructive debriefing. 

The MOCA simulation course includes the ABA required topics of peri-operative hypoxemia and hemodynamic instability but focuses on the role of communication and team work for effective crisis resource management and patient safety. Throughout the day, participants and instructors are challenged to consider potential practice improvements unmasked in the scenarios for implementation in their own practice at their parent facilities.  

Although participation in this course is not graded, to receive credit for the course and satisfy the ABA MOCA Part IV requirement, Diplomates will be required to complete a course evaluation within three (3) days of the course completion AND respond to a follow up email from the ASA within 1-3 months.  The required course evaluation consists of two parts: the Diplomate’s practice improvement plan and a critique of the training.  The Diplomate must then respond to the ASA follow-up email sent at 30 day intervals (up to 90 days) following the course completion.  The follow up email will include questions pertaining to the Diplomate’s experiences with implementation of their practice improvement plan.   After the ASA receives the Diplomate’s email response, the ABA will be notified of the MOCA Part IV fulfillment and it will be documented in the Diplomate’s ABA portal account.

Sample Schedule

0730-0800     Introduction to ABA MOCA Part IV goals and requirements


0800-0900     Human Factors Training


0900-0930     Simulator Orientation


0930-1015     Scenario #1 and Debriefing


1015-1100     Scenario #2 and Debriefing


1100-1145     Scenario #3 and Debriefing


1145-1215     Break for Lunch


1215-1300     Scenario #4 and Debriefing


1300-1415     Scenario #5 and Debriefing


1415-1500     Conclusions and course evaluation


Course Location and Logistics

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Department of Anesthesiology, Patient Simulation Lab

Building C-1093 (on the base map , we are building 72)

4301 Jones Bridge Road

Bethesda, MD 20814


Food is not provided.  Participants are welcome to purchase refreshments and lunch at the University or bring their own.  Refrigerator and microwave is available for participants’ use. Base access to the Naval Support Activity Bethesda requires a DoD CAC.  If you do not possess a CAC card, you will need to submit the base access request form NSAB 5512 and email it to: 

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences 

Department of Anesthesiology, Patient Simulation Lab 

Kali Holloway

(Fax) 301-295-2200 


To ensure adequate time for security to process the request, the form should be faxed no later than 2 weeks before the course.  Parking is available for registered participants in the designated USU Visitor Parking located in the USU parking garage base map  (under USU building 71).  Getting through the gates of the campus and eventually to the Patient Simulation Lab will take you at  least 20 minutes.  Please plan your time accordingly.


Course Dates

Check the website regularly for course dates as additional courses may be added 



February 12 - FILLED

March 10 - FILLED

April 11 - FILLED

May 12 -FILLED

May 13 - FILLED

September 19 - FILLED

September 26 - FILLED

November 7 -FILLED

November 14 - FILLED



January 30 - FILLED

February 13 - FILLED

February 27 - CANCELLED

April 24 - FILLED

May 15 - FILLED 
We will be adding courses for the fall at a later date.  You may request to be put on a wait list.

Registration & Fees 

Please send e-mail to Dr. Arlene Hudson MD at with the following information:

Course date desired

Full name

Military Status (AD, reservist, Ret Military, Civ)

Mailing address

Preferred telephone number

Preferred e-mail

ABA number

ASA number (if you are a member),

dates of current certificate expiration,

dates and location of residency and fellowship training  

Current practice location



$1600.00 (discount available to military active duty and reservists on orders)

Please pay by check payable to: “Henry M Jackson-MOCA”


The check may be hand carried to the course or mailed ahead of the course date to:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Department of Anesthesiology – MOCA Simulation

4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, MD 20814


Alternatively, to pay by credit card before the course start call: 

Henry M Jackson Foundation at: (240) 694-2093





Course Cancellation Policy

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences follows the federal government Office of Personnel Management (OPM) operating status.  If weather is such that the government closes, the course will be cancelled.   Should this occur, enrolled participants will be notified by 0500 the morning of the course and a full refund or rollover to an alternate course date will be offered.  Although we will attempt to reschedule all registered participants into a new course, we are unable guarantee satisfactory placement.  If the government has a 2 hour delay, we will begin and end the course 2 hours later than our schedule.  Should this occur, enrolled participants will be notified by 0500 the morning of the course.  

Courses with less than 5 confirmed participants will be cancelled at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled course date.  Should this occur, enrolled participants will be notified and a full refund or rollover to an alternate course date will be offered.  


7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ available for this live activity by the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC)

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.    

The Navy Medicine Professional Development Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  Registration in the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center system is required at the time of course registration and available to all participants regardless of military status.  Once registered in NMPDC, the MOCA course director will ensure you are signed up for the correct CME course.   After completion of the course, the participant will be immediately e-mailed by NMPDC.  The course evaluation is required to earn the CME credit.  The Navy Medicine Professional Development Center is a registered CME provider for the ABA.  As such, the CME earned will be automatically reported to the participant’s ABA Portal Account.  

Here is a sample of what our recent course participants have said about the USU MOCA Simulation Course:

“This was a first experience for me in a SIM lab. Everything was useful to my everyday practice.”

“The way the course was conducted by the staff here at USUHS was outstanding. They provided very realistic scenarios that was conducive to learning.”

“The debriefing sessions were excellent and relevant to my daily practice.”  

“Excellent representative common scenarios.”

“Excellent facility. Enough supporting cast to make all scenarios seem real.” 

“I appreciated learning about different types of errors and some of the psychology involved in human factors and crisis management."

“Monitoring yourself in a simulation course was very insightful. There are significant learning when you go through the simulation and de-brief afterwards with instructors and fellow anesthesiologist.”