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Maintenance of Certification: Con game or worth the hassle??
Keywords:
MOC, recertification, healthcare quality, physician education, physician quality
Started by
Pulmon09798
Posted On
Category
Policy
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7

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         Maintenance of Certification (MOC) has become a pain in the rear for most physicians. Like everything else in life, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Several physicians feel this way about MOC too. Continuing Medical Education (CME) and re-certification by taking exams every 10 years may sound reasonable and logical but in their current form, they impose enormous effort and cost burden on physicians without commensurate benefits. 

         The CME credits are easy to earn these days on the internet for a payment without any meaningful "education". The re-certification exam requires several weeks to several months of preparation, which means time away from work with consequent loss of revenue or less time with the family for the physicians. In addition, the questions asked are not relevant to what physicians routinely encounter in their practice and the physicians do not feel enlightened with useful knowledge after finishing the re-certifications exams.

          The CME requirement has spawned an industry which provides CME credits easily to physicians for a fee but without any meaningful education. American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has definitely benefitted financially from the business of conducting these exams and charging steep fees from the physicians. Several others have benefitted from running refresher courses and other helpful resources for passing these exams. All this increases the expense and effort for the physicians but the benefit to patients and the quality of care has never been demonstrated.

          I think the administration, our medical societies, physicians and even patients should reconsider if we need to waste precious resources for this meaningless endeavour until definitive proof of its utility is obtained. In times when "Evidence based Medicine" is recommended, I think it is high time to either prove the benefits of MOC and recertification, or get rid of them.

 

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Gastro17185

The MOC has some benefits though the time and money required to complete the formalities is inordinate. The physicians should not be made to pay through their nose and waste so much of their productive time doing this. There should be an easier and better way to achieve the same thing.

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Urol53148

It is a con-game no doubt. I can see no benefit, but waste of time and money for the physicians. How about asking the politicians and the administrators to re-take the exams for their educational degrees again every ten years to refresh the knowledge.

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CTVS10483

Somebody has to make money conducting these exams. How can you be cruel and not think of these people whose villas and luxury vacations depend on screwing the physicians.

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Gastro97262

I have a highly specialized clinical practice and am recognized nationally for my skills. Very little of what I do is asked in the re-certification exams and very little of what they test me on pertains to my clinical practice. However, I still have to waste time and money preparing for the boards every 10 years.

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Pulmon04866

I am Chair of Medicine in a University program and I see no benefit from MOC or ABIM re-certification. No one becomes better after taking the test. Forcing people to learn has never been a successful strategy in my experience.

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Craig87662

Shouldn't the physicians spend time and effort to keep their knowledge uptodate so that their patients can get the best care possible??

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Urol53148

Craig, I agree that doctors should keep learning and stay uptodate. Most doctors already did that even before MOC and recertification was instituted. The difference was - then the physicians read or learned what was relevant to their practice. Now with recertification exam, the physicians have to brush up on topics which may be far removed from their clinical practice. Also, the physicians who are not high quality and not uptodate in their knowledge risk getting less number of referrals from their colleagues who would like to refer cases to other physicians who they trust can do a good job ...

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