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Infuriated by MOC Rules, Physicians Unleash on Certification Boards

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, June 26, 2014

From the time a doctor is trained and receives license to practice from the state to the time in 10 years he or she takes the exam, and the 10 years after that, there is an enormous gap unfilled by an occasional continuing medical education course. Nor is there enough disciplinary oversight from a licensing board if a doctor's practice comes under licensing review.

The new system undoubtedly will fall far short of filling the gap. But it's at least a strong start, and as ABIM officials have reassured me, it's sure to be tweaked and improved along the way.

6. MOC is too hard on older doctors and will force them to retire early, worsening the physician shortage.

Doctors who passed their first board certification exam prior to 1990 don't have to take the 10 year exam until 2023. If they do not pass by then, they will still be listed as certified, but will also be shown as "not meeting requirements."

Richard Baron, president of the ABIM, says older doctors will not get a pass on meeting cyclical requirements. "If someone is seeing a lot of patients a day, why wouldn't that be applicable?"

That's the question I have too. A board's certification should mean that doctors know today's standards of practice, not those in play decade or more ago.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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12 comments on "Infuriated by MOC Rules, Physicians Unleash on Certification Boards"


Frank J. Kadel, D.O. FACOS (7/29/2014 at 7:23 PM)
As a dual-certified Fellow of my specialty college I must respectfully disagree. I'm curious as to your own credentials for passing judgement on these untested novel hoops foisted on practicing physicians by academics and policy makers, many of whom are dependent for their income on the very fees being charged to doctors who've already successfully completed residencies and met the requirements for licensure to practice.

Samuel Hunter, MD, PhD (7/3/2014 at 10:06 AM)
Wow, what a one sided article. Sounds like the mouthpiece of ABIM is speaking. I thought this was a journalistic enterprise. The credibility of this organization is doubtful and no physician I know would agree with the perspective here.

Jason Kim (7/2/2014 at 4:22 PM)
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, and don't have the time to issue rebuttals to every point. But get one thing straight. You are totally wrong about #2: surveys of patients, even if it is about the quality of theiir care, IS HUMAN SUBJECT RESEARCH. Ask any institutional review board at any medical center if you don't believe me.