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Association Secures Significant Changes to Midwife Board Rule

Association Secures Significant Changes to Midwife Board Rule

The Medical Association and a coalition of health organizations this week convinced a legislative committee with oversight of state board regulations to make changes to a dangerous proposed regulation by the newly-formed Alabama State Board of Midwifery.  The Midwifery Board was established by law in 2017 to license non-nurse midwives.

The proposed regulation – if adopted by the legislative committee as it was proposed by the Midwifery Board – would have allowed non-nurse midwives to practice pediatrics and procure, store and use drugs, neither of which is allowed by state law. In addition to striking these two provisions from the ASBM’s proposed regulation, the legislative committee also added a requirement that, in the event a woman attempting to give birth at home with a non-nurse midwife transfers to a facility, the non-nurse midwife is required to accompany her client. As well, the legislative committee struck language in the Midwifery Board proposed regulation that would have limited the ASBM’s disciplinary “look back” period to only 18 months. No professional health licensure boards in Alabama have such a limited timeframe for “look back.”

The Medical Association and others in the health coalition had worked with the Midwifery Board for more than six months in an attempt to get the Board to voluntarily bring its proposed regulation into compliance with state law. While the Midwifery Board chose not to accede to the coalition’s requests, the Medical Association supports the changes made to the proposed regulation by the legislative committee this week as being in the best interest of both pregnant women and their babies.

The Midwifery Board meets next week to take up the revisions the legislative committee made to its proposed rule. At that meeting or before the Dec. 4 deadline, the Midwifery Board will have to decide whether to adopt the changes the legislative committee made to its proposed regulation or to start over with the rulemaking process.

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Jefferson Underwood III, M.D., Named President for 2018-2019

Jefferson Underwood III, M.D., Named President for 2018-2019

MONTGOMERY – Long-time Montgomery physician and Association member Jefferson Underwood III, M.D., was recently named President of the Board of Censors of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Dr. Underwood is the first African-American male to serve as President of the Association. He previously served the Association as President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer and Vice President.

“The Association is grateful to Dr. Underwood for his guidance and leadership as an officer of the organization and is appreciative of the continuing impact he has as a member of the Board of Censors,” Executive Director Mark Jackson said. “His medical experience, as well as his civic-mindedness and sense of diversity and compassion has brought a strong perspective to the Board. It has been a genuine pleasure getting to know and work with such a leader in the medical community.”

Dr. Underwood is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. He completed his internship and residency at D.C. General Hospital/Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

He received the Douglas L. Cannon Award from the Medical Association for Outstanding Medical Journalism for Community Service, a recipient of the Alabama Young Democrats Achievement Award for Community Service in Health, 2005 Physician of the Year, and 2015 Montgomery’s Top Doctor by the International Association of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Underwood is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He is a member of the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Physicians, International Society for Hypertension in Blacks, as well as the Editorial Board for the Journal of Ethnicity. He is a member of the Montgomery County Medical Society (in which he has served on the Board of Trustees and as President) and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s Board of Censors.

Giving back to his community is one of Dr. Underwood’s passions. As an adjunct professor at Alabama State University, he taught biology. He also served on the board of directors for the Montgomery Area United Way, the Alliance for Responsible Individual Choices for AIDS/HIV, Montgomery County Health Department Hunt Diabetic Clinic, Central Alabama Home Health, Oxford Home Health, Father Walter’s Center for Gifted Children, Habitat for Humanity, and was the health editor for The Montgomery Advertiser.

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MOC UPDATE: Working to Solve Problems with Certifications

MOC UPDATE: Working to Solve Problems with Certifications

UPDATE JULY 20, 2018: The Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future or “Vision Initiative” is a collaborative effort that brings together multiple stakeholders to envision a system that is responsive to the needs of those who rely on it and that is relevant, meaningful and of value to physicians. The Vision Initiative includes physicians, professional medical organizations, national specialty and state medical societies, hospitals and health systems, the general public and patients, and the 24 Member Boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

The Vision Initiative held in-person meetings in March and May to solicit testimony from ABMS member boards, national specialty and state medical societies, key stakeholders, and the public regarding their perspectives on the continuous certification system as well as innovations and possible changes.

Here is a summary of the March and May meetings for your information.

Upcoming meetings, to be held August 29-30 and October 15-16 will discuss solutions in relation to MOC. (See timeline.) A draft report for public comment is anticipated in November 2018, with a final report from the Commission to ABMS due February 2019.

Interested medical societies can sign up for monthly updates to follow the Commission’s progress and be notified about opportunities for feedback and input at this link.

RELATED NEWS: MOC UPDATE: Two Certification Programs Transition from Pilot to Permanent


UPDATE APRIL 20, 2018:  The Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission is continuing its quest  to bring together physicians, medical organization, state medical societies, hospitals, health systems, patients and the ABMS to investigate the future of board certification and recently hosted its first in-person meeting in March in Washington, D.C. Commission members heard testimony on continuing certification from stakeholders who provided their perspectives and experiences with continuing certification, the challenges they currently face, and their thoughts about opportunities about the future. The presentation components of the meeting were open to the public and video streamed for all to view live.

HOW  CAN YOU PARTICIPATE? The Commission launched a stakeholder survey in February, which will remain open until May 11. Complete the survey, share the link with your colleagues, and urge them to participate as well. TAKE THE SURVEY

The next Commission meeting will be held May 30 – June 1. The meeting will feature sections open to the public and will be live video streamed. Details regarding the agenda and live streaming will be featured in next month’s update and posted on visioninitiative.org. Please make sure to bookmark the site for access to Commission meeting information, progress updates, and opportunities for your feedback and input, and remember to share this update with your colleagues and encourage them to become involved in the process as well.


The Medical Association continues to work with the American Board of Medical Specialties concerning physician frustrations with the current Maintenance of Certification process. Late last year, Association Executive Director Mark Jackson and Council on Medical Service member Jeff Rickert, M.D., joined representatives from other state medical societies and individual specialty boards for a meeting with the ABMS in Chicago, which included discussions about innovations the medical boards are working on to address continuous learning for physicians, many of which include input from various outside stakeholders and focus on greater consistency amongst the medical boards.

Following the Association’s Annual Governmental Affairs Meeting in Washington in February where Richard Hawkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of ABMS, was a guest speaker, the organization issued a statement as an update on the progress of issues of concern to physicians about Maintenance of Certification.

As a result of these meetings, and other meetings initiated by State Medical Societies, the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future was formed as a collaborative effort bringing together physicians, medical organization, state medical societies, hospitals, health systems, patients and the ABMS to investigate the future of board certification.

The Commission invites input from all stakeholders. To participate in the discussion, you may provide comments to inform the future of board certification, learn how you can engage in the process, and sign up for monthly email updates from the Commission. LEARN MORE

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