Infuriated by MOC Rules, Physicians Unleash on Certification Boards

Cheryl Clark, June 26, 2014

Revised maintenance of certification rules are drawing howls of protest from doctors who are angry about "extortive" costs and other burdens.

Rarely does one hear raging, frantic invective from doctors at the level some are now spewing about new maintenance of certification (MOC) programs required for physicians who seek board certification.

The new MOC rules, customized by 24 specialty boards, require doctors to continuously learn rather than to cram for and take an exam every 10 years. Some of these boards, like the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), require MOC point accruals for two-year or five year cycles.

Another sore spot for physicians: For the first time, the public can see which doctors meet or don't meet the requirements. The new rules are, as Illinois internist Westby Fisher, MD, said in an interview, "infuriating."

I'm not seeing the justification for all this angst. In just the last week, I've heard or read doctors' screeds on the MOC requirements. They've been described as "exorbitantly expensive," "extortive," and so on.

One Pittsburgh anesthesiologist, Paul Kempen, MD, likens components of MOC practice improvement module requirements to the fascism of "Nazi Germany," and to the "Tuskegee syphilis experiments."


In one of his many blog postings about MOC Fisher implies that the boards setting the MOC rules are controlled by "cockroaches."


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