Following the Medical Association’s Annual Governmental Affairs Meeting in Washington earlier this week where Richard Hawkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Medical Specialties, was a guest speaker, ABMS issued a statement as an update on the progress of issues of concern to physicians about Maintenance of Certification.
Late last year, frustrations with the current Maintenance of Certification process brought the Medical Association and representatives from other state medical societies and individual specialty boards to Chicago for a series of meetings with the American Board of Medical Specialties to discuss physician frustration with the MOC process. Leadership within ABMS and the specialty boards engaged in meaningful dialogue during the meeting with promises to address criticisms of the current MOC process.
As part of the ABMS statement, the organization vowed to continue to work closely with physician organizations to improve the certification process. The release included the following action statements:
- To make testing more relevant to practice, Boards have modularized the exam in specific practice areas and given their diplomates more flexibility over the scope and frequency of assessment;
- To eliminate the indirect costs of participation, Boards have modernized the assessment through convenient on-line testing or remote proctoring, eliminating the need for preparation courses, travel to exam centers, and time away from practices;
- To simulate real-life application of knowledge and decision making, some Boards now permit the use of reference materials during the exam;
- To assure that knowledge assessments help participating physicians to identify gaps in knowledge and guide their learning, assessments are accompanied by timely, actionable feedback;
- To increase alignment between MOC and other quality and safety programs, a much wider variety of practice-based learning and improvement activities are now recognized, including those offered through hospitals, specialty societies, and state medical societies.
- To assure opportunities for remediation of knowledge gaps, all Boards provide multiple opportunities for physicians to retake the exam.
Meanwhile, the entire Boards Community has:
- Initiated a major redesign of ABMS governance to increase Board accountability and provide an ongoing opportunity for participating physicians to directly impact ABMS programs and policy;
- Initiated the development of organizational standards to increase operational consistency, transparency and effectiveness across the Boards; and
- Launched the Continuing Board Certification – Vision for the Future initiative to gather broad input about continuing certification from a wide range of stakeholders (especially physicians who spend most of their time in practice), consider alternatives, and make recommendations for the future.