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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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11 comments on "Infuriated by MOC Rules, Physicians Unleash on Certification Boards"


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.

ju md (7/1/2014 at 1:51 PM)
MOC is another form of extortion of physicians. My patients don't come to me because I am board certified. They volunterily seek my services because they know that I care about their health and that I am medically competent to keep them healthy year after year. I am able to do that through continuing medical education that I feel is relevant to my population. Physicians need to just say no to these bean counters, bureacrats, and regulators who are killing private practice of medicine and promoting the corporatization of medicine for their own profits under the guise of quality. They don't know what real quality is because they are clueless as to what we deal with. Look at PQRS,NCQA, and CQM debacle. This is how they measure quality? It is the most idiotic process I have ever seen in all my years of practice. Where are our medical soceities such as the AMA on this issue? It is really sad that our own are cannibalizing us in the name of quality. I am refusing this charade and more physicians should do the same.