But while preparing for this gauntlet again, I was struck by the fees I must pay just for prep-courses and registration fees: well over $10,000.
|CV Board Review Course||$998.00|
|EP Board Review Course||$1420.00|
|Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Fee - CV Disease||$1810.00|
|MOC Fee - EP (with 2nd MOC discount)||$760.00|
|Board Certification Fee - EP||$2785.00|
|Board Certification Fee - CV Disease||$2165.00|
|Test Center Fee - Board Cert||$500.00|
|Test Center Fee - MOC||$500.00|
Realize these costs don't include transporation and housing costs that might be required, not to mention the costs incurred from time off from work.
I realize that it's expensive to prepare, review, monitor and regulate this testing, but these costs are growing at a ridiculous rate - I hate to think what new doctors saddled with significant educational loans must endure just to get started.
Hey, I think I have a new idea for a business: a loan company that funds doctors to help doctors pay for their certification fees!
Oh wait: it already exists.
Addendum 5/9/2011 08:45 AM CST - I received this follow-up e-mail from Lori B. Slass, VP for Communications at the ABIM, with the following clarification of their fees for dual-boarded individuals like myself:
"As the VP for Communications at ABIM I did want to clarify some of the fees you presented today.I have provided links to the published ABIM fees in my post. It states clearly that the examination fee (alone) for EP is $2,795. I have asked for additional clarification.
As someone who is already board certified in CV and EP, your costs to recertify would be $1,810 + $760 for the 2nd (EP) exam. Total cost is $2,570 – good for ten years.
So it is about $250 a year to maintain certification for someone like yourself who is dual certified. I agree this is not an insignificant amount, and many physicians take review courses to prepare and that does add to the costs, but it is much less than you highlighted in your post. The test center fees you note are only for international candidates.
It is also worth noting that the fee includes all the modules you need for both certifications, and over the course of ten years, even after you complete the MOC requirements you can complete modules for CME credit at no extra cost.
The ABIM Board of Directors are very careful in establishing fees. We are a non profit and to a great extent, the key determinant of the fee for MOC is the direct cost of developing and administering the program. Costs associated with the examination have also risen with the introduction of Computer Testing Centers. We have found, and our candidates confirm, that computer based testing has important advantages over the older method of testing. Hope this is helpful."
Addendum #2 9 May 2011 09:43AM CST: Additional clarification is now provided:
"We will try to make it clearer on our website, but you do not have to repay certification fees once you are certified. Only the MOC fees – total cost for you $2570 for Card and EP (covering two exams) and you correctly noted that you do not have to maintain IM, only those certifications relevant to your practice.(emphasis mine) We also like to think the free CME for 10 years is a nice addition."