Friday, March 13, 2015

Scientific Meetings Are Becoming MOC Training Sessions

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 2015 American College of Cardiology (ACC) Scientific Sessions in San Diego, CA.  This morning I was struck by the "Schedule At-a-Glance" sent to registrants participating in these sessions:

ACC.15 Schedule at a Glance - Click to enlarge
Using Photoshop, I decided to rearrange the schedule in a linear graph format day-by-day instead:

ACC.15 Schedule Rearranged in Graphical Format - Click to enlarge

As we can clearly see, the time devoted to Maintenance of Certification Study Sessions exceeds that of other collegial scientific and learning opportunities.

Does the American College of Cardiology really value the development of physician test-taking skills for the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification® program over the sharing of innovative ideas and scientific content at our largest world-wide cardiology meeting? 

It would appear the largest purpose of our national meetings has changed to quelling the fear and implications of failing the ABMS MOC secure examination.  I wonder what cardiovascular physicians and patients are losing as a result of this coercive and corrupt program being foisted upon us.



Anonymous said...

Have attended 25 of these ,, as well as several other card global meetings . Poster quality is way down, the 'old ' collaboration ( oh no -- need for disclosure ) between physicians , companies and universities ( ok - yes govt , also ) has disappeared , and --- the 'wedding ' of new technologies ( DNA driven therapies , micro/ nano , boutique Pharma chemistries , wireless 24/7 monitoring ,,,,,,etc.) hasn't really occurred &&& AND, the real power to help drive our healthcare in proper directions is almost zero ! Sorry for the rant !!

Charles Koo said...

Hi Wes,

Isn't it striking how much energy is diverted just to address the MOC Bogeyman? But let's put this in a slightly different light.

I would hesitate to think of a time in the history of modern medicine more corrosive than the money and time spent on this MOC process. It is truly wasteful and tragic.

I think there is no profession or industry with the level of unremitting scrutiny and oversight than the Medical Profession.

Every activity is under a bright white light and an unblinking eye. Every aspect is measured, assessed and recorded. Our education our behavior, our patient popularity, our morbidity/mortality rates, our use of money, our consumption of coffee and pens, our relationship with Big Pharma and Device Companies, our opinions, our grades, etc etc etc ad nauseum.

Let's count the number of regulators we have to obey just to do our jobs.

1. USMLE 1, 2, 3
3. ABIM Initial Certification
4. ABIM MOC Re-Certification
5. CMS (HCAPHS scoring) claims made data dumps
6. Crimson Dashboards
8. Individual Societies: for me ACC and HRS
9. Individual Hospital Medical Executive Boards
10. Individual Hospital QA and QI audits
11. AHA ACLS BLS (every two years)
12. The Board of Medical Examiners in the State of New Jersey
13. Each and every individual insurance company
14. The Big Data Dumps from the lay press a la the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times
15. Consumer Advocacy Groups: ie Pro Publica
16. Physician Websites:
17. The malpractice insurance carriers
18. The Trial Attorneys
19. Yearly CME
20. End of Life CME

There is no greater degree of transparency and accessibility into the collective professional lives of physicians. Anybody can easily research who we are, what our behavior is and what we do.

So if we all agree that the regulation of a physician is intense, suffocatingly comprehensive, and often wastefully redundant, what the heck is the ABIM and the ABMS trying to regulate that already is not regulated?

Can the ABIM tell us what exactly is the purpose of MOC that isn't already being done?

Anonymous said...

The marriage of ACC and ABMS was consummated by the prior president of ACC, Dr. John Harold who sits on both boards. How he can maintain any fiduciary responsibility to this ACC member while serving his masters at ABMS is beyond me.