fbpx
Quick summary: Christina Dewey, MD, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician, shares her thoughts regarding MOC/board certification.

MOC/ board certification – does it even matter anymore?

 

I’m a pediatrician that started practicing BEFORE MOC existed, when being board certified actually meant something.

Being a “board certified physician” meant you had passed the equivalent to a PhD thesis: you had finally reached a pinnacle in your medical career. After a minimum of 11 YEARS of higher education, graduating medical school and completing years of additional supervised training called residency – you earned the privilege of sitting for your specialty exams/certification – and you passed.

 

  • Passing boards meant you were now considered an EXPERT in your chosen field of medicine.
  • Passing boards meant you were worthy, trained, and trusted to independently care for patients.
  • Passing boards meant you were now an official attending physician.
  • At the top.
  • Trusted.
  • Once a trainee, now a master.
  • Being “board certified” used to mean something special.

 

MOC was initially introduced as voluntary.

Billed and promoted as a way to show everyone you were still at the top of your game. Participating meant you were a team player, and everyone – even those physicians “grandfathered in” – aka exempt from MOC – were encouraged to play.

If you chose not to participate – no harm, no foul.

Until the boards realized not enough physicians were willing to sign up and pay to play. All of sudden, the board members unilaterally decided MOC was no longer optional, and in 2003 pediatricians not grandfathered in, were required to participate in MOC.

“In 2000, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) partnered with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to adopt six core competencies for physicians. These competencies became the foundation of improvements in initial certification and in MOC, which emerged in 2003.” This description is from ABP’s website.

On the surface, this process appears to be in place to make sure physicians are keeping up to date with the latest medical advances, developments, and standards of practice. What the ABMS fails to recognize and mention is that in order to remain licensed to practice medicine, physicians are already required by their state medical boards to complete continuing medical education (CME). Minnesota’s medical licensing board requires 75 hours of CME every 3 years. Participation in MOC fulfills this requirement, but so does completing alternate physician chosen CME.

Again, this MOC requirement appears to be in place to protect patients and to make sure physicians are keeping up to date with the latest and greatest medical developments. Physicians, by nature, are driven, resilient, overachievers. We strive to do best for our patients. By default, we are engaged, continuous learners and seekers of knowledge. We are strong willed, independent, fierce leaders. We had to be in order to be accepted into and make it through our vigorous medical training. We physicians are accomplished learners and do not need micromanaged suggestions in order to stay up to date and current in our specialty.

So physicians have a choice, right? Participate in MOC or choose your own CME?

Unfortunately, for most, the answer is No.

Since its introduction, MOC has morphed into being required and tied to hospital & insurance credentialing.

FAIL to PAY the ABP, and you are no longer “in good standing” and will be unable to continue caring for your hospitalized patients because you are now no longer “certified”. One day you’re rounding in the hospital, and the next you are unqualified? Did our years of education, training, and experience suddenly disappear because we refused to pay to play?

 

FAIL to PAY the ABP, and you are no longer “in good standing” and will be unable to continue caring for your hospitalized patients because you are now no longer “certified”. One day you’re rounding in the hospital, and the next you are… Click To Tweet

 

 

MOC IS EXTORTING PHYSICIANS, and is in turn harming patients in the process.

And, if you fail to pay for MOC, you will be banned from receiving insurance payments for your already performed services, and your patients will no longer be able to see you. Why? Because once again you are “no longer certified”.

To date, published studies have found no association between MOC/OCC and improved patient outcomes from participation in MOC. There are, however, thousands of physicians dissatisfied with the patriarchal monopoly, as proven by this recently circulated petition. Additionally, over $411,000 has been raised via a GoFundMe campaign in order to help with legal efforts to end MOC nationwide. Interested in learning more about the history/corrupt for profit driven practices of the ABMS? Visit Dr. Wes Fisher’s blog.

While MOC is expensive, burdensome, & unnecessary, what I find absolutely egregious is that the ABMS has done nothing to protect patients from non-physicians legislating their way into increasing their “scope of practice”; essentially akin to practicing “medicine” without any of the required medical education, training, or a medical license! Due to these lobbying efforts, 29 states now allow nurse practitioners “full practice authority” to “practice at the top of their license”.

Is this not an exact situation the boards were initially formed to prevent?!?

 

89 years later – almost a century after initial formation – isn’t it ironic the ABP is failing to act on the very premise for which it was founded?

The lack of action on the part of the ABMS in all specialties is likewise reprehensible. While our medical boards continue to extort us, they are colossally failing at protecting our patients, and continue to disrupt needed patient care. If curious as to how patients are being harmed, please read “Patients At Risk” by Drs. Niran Al-Algba and Rebekah Bernard. As a patient, please remember It’s Ok to Ask for the credentials of whoever’s wearing that white coat.

 

While MOC is expensive, burdensome, & unnecessary, what I find absolutely egregious is that the ABMS has done nothing to protect patients from non-physicians legislating their way into increasing their “scope of practice” Click To Tweet

 

 

Frustrated with the mandated MOC programs, in 2014, over 20,000 physicians signed a petition to provide an alternative pathway, and NBPAS was formed.

 

 

On November 2, 2021, it was announced that NBPAS meets all national accreditation standards for health plans. This update clarified to all health insurers that NBPAS performs Primary Source Verification and therefore meets the NCQA and URAC requirements for health plans – meaning NBPAS is an accepted alternative to MOC – so MOC is no longer needed to receive health plan payment reimbursements!

 

https://nbpas.org/ncqa-update/

 

In December 2021, I applied, met all standardized requirements, and officially certified as a NBPAS diplomate.

My hope is that every single physician chooses to participate in NBPAS, and in turn petitions their hospitals to accept NBPAS as an alternative to MOC. If every single physician does so, we have power to stop the extortion and make MOC/OCC obsolete.

As Gary Keller describes the incredible power of the “Domino Effect” in his book The One Thing, we too can create massive change by collaborating together.

 

 

To learn more about NBPAS I invite you to participle in a zoom meeting this Sunday, February 6, 2022, at 3pm EST, with NBPAS board member, Dr. Paul Mathew, hosted by Practicing Physicians of America. Link to join and more information here: https://fb.me/e/2bB12hNuL

 

 

 

Note: article sponsored by PPA. There are affiliate links to book sales incorporated into the article, which earn SoMeDocs a small percentage which is used to run this website and grow.

Tweet this out

EARN CME

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.

Ad from SoMeDocs.

SoMeDocs Front Page Header

Marketing physician voices uniquely!

Our Venture Amplifies Healthcare Voices.

Christina Dewey, MD, FAAP

Passionate Pediatrician. Marvelous Mom. Children/Vaccine/Physician Advocate. Connecting Physicians. Creating Change.

SoMeDocs

SoMeDocs, short for Doctors on Social Media, is a physician-created & led health media company that aims to build a beautiful catalogue of verified online healthcare voices. Our goals are to teach educated professionals tools for personal success, and to showcase them to the world, and facilitate the connections needed to grow. Join us.

My Life Dimmer Switch

My Life Dimmer Switch

Dympna Weil, MD confesses how owning the dimmer switch of her life changed EVERYTHING. She shares exactly how.

Negotiation series header: David Norris

Negotiate as a Physician and Win

Catch this 8-part series, hosted by physician & business consultant David Norris, MD, MBA & produced by Dana Corriel, MD. Learn to be a stronger negotiator with these important tactics.

Conversations with Shem: Season 2

Medical literature icon Samuel Shem, author of “The House of God” returns for season 2 of conversation, in order to discuss the broken healthcare system. This time, he’s brought the guests!

Doctors on Social Media Teach Podcasting Header Image

Doctors On Social Media Teach Podcasting

Today’s health experts are sharing their expertise in audio format using podcasts. Join us as we explore how we do this and bring on the innovators who are giving it their all.

George Mathew, MD, MBA

George Mathew, MD, MBA

Trying to learn as much as I can about healthcare and the business of healthcare, to try to create access to care for all patients

Roberata E Gebhard D.O.

Roberata E Gebhard D.O.

I am passionate about Gender Equity in Medicine, and I help physicians who have experienced workplace injustice!

Heather Signorelli, DO

Heather Signorelli, DO

Physician executive and entrepreneur on a mission to help physicians through a reliable medical billing service.

Mimi Zieman M.D.

Mimi Zieman M.D.

We all have inner voices that need to be listened to, and stories to tell. Voices speaking up for women and justice are needed now more than ever.

Meridith Grundei

Meridith Grundei

Perfection is highly overrated. It’s time to start getting comfortably uncomfortable and start sharing your voice with the world!

JD Gershbein

JD Gershbein

“Linkedin is like a raffle; you must be present to win.”

Ann M. Richardson, MBA

Ann M. Richardson, MBA

“The Doctor Whisperer” – Healthcare systems transformation consultant and fierce physician, care team, and patient advocate.

SoMeDocs Logo

The Healthcare Connection Hub

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

Grow with us.

We take rolling applications for regular contributors

We had a fantastic turnout and brought a large number of physician contributors on board our 1st & 2nd rounds. If you’re interested in being considered for a future round, submit an application now and we’ll be in touch when it opens. Regularly contributing means you share your thoughts, stories, opinions, or advice on our website, and we make it pretty/circulate. It’s essentially our large effort to collectively market health experts and grow thought leaders. We also consider applications for our “Experts for Health Experts” section, depending on the pitch. Are you ready to join us? If you prefer immediate access & want to build yourself space now, consider becoming a member.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”