During Annual Session, the Medical Association’s House of Delegates passed a resolution formally opposing additional Maintenance of Certification requirements as dictated by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Osteopathic Association. While it was agreed that the need for continuing medical education to improve the quality of care, the expense and clinically irrelevant process of MOC often proved overly burdensome.
MOC is designed to show that once a physician’s formal training is over, they are continuing to practice lifelong learning by continuing to challenge themselves to keep up with the latest developments in their chosen field. However, while physicians do support efforts to improve the quality of care of their patients, physicians have argued for years that MOC is overly expensive and often clinically irrelevant to everyday practice.
For example, the American Board of Internal Medicine has long required internists to pass Maintenance of Certification exams every 10 years to keep their board-certified status. However, this policy has recently come under scrutiny due to its high burden to doctors and the lack of sound evidence that recertification processes improve doctors’ quality of care. The ABIM announced it would offer a new assessment option starting in January 2018, allowing doctors to be recertified through shorter, but more frequent, assessments. But it’s not clear that this will make much difference.
To alleviate some burden on our physicians, the Medical Association’s Counsel on Medical Services studied the need for MOC and presented a formal resolution to the House of Delegates during Annual Session in April. The resolution, which passed, created a formal policy to oppose adding any further requirements for MOC as a condition of licensure, reimbursement, employment or admitting privileges at a hospital.