Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stop Wasting Doctors' Time (and Money)

From the New York Times today:
"To rely solely on memory, especially for rarer illnesses or complicated patients, would be malpractice. Which is why the huge exam that culminates each decade of recertification should be abolished. Memorizing reams of information to be regurgitated in a “secure testing center” is a waste of time and resources, and does not reflect how medicine is practiced. Most doctors agree with having some sort of process that updates and refreshes medical knowledge. But the process has become unmanageable."
Unfortunately, the well-meaning physician author of this piece does not mention the additional costs and questionable ethics of the relatively recently expanded four-step Maintenance of Certification® (MOC) process that the American Board of Medical Specialties has trademarked (and the ABIM helps implement), especially as it pertains to the research being performed on working physicians without their consent. Furthermore, the recent revelations that a shadow organization of the ABIM, the ABIM Foundation, purchased a $2.3 million luxury condominium in December 2007 after the new, more onerous MOC requirements were announced in 2005 raises many more very troubling questions about the legitimacy of this program.  For instance, is MOC more about improving corporate portfolios than patient outcomes?

In my opinion, there will be much more coming soon about this sordid and very sad MOC story.



Art Fougner MD said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

Anonymous said...

Will you post the cost of the certification?


Anonymous said...

Dr. Wes,

Seems as though some regulation is necessary. Did you read about 'drive-by' physicians and surprise out-of-network charges in the NYT?

Here is the link:


DrWes said...

Your regulation question of physician behavior as it pertains to income is a red herring. We are talking about the legitimacy of a continuing education mandate for physicians.