Tuesday, April 14, 2020

MOC's Irrelevancy To Public Unmasked In Time of Crisis

With the collapse of testing center availability, travel bans, and growing physician clinical demands, the American Board of Medical Specialties' lucrative Maintenance of Certification® program recently proved how unnecessary it was to the public's wellbeing as each of the member boards followed the ABMS's announcement shuddering its entire Spring examination schedule and many maintenance of certification and continuous certification exercises for all medical subspecialties.

The American Board of Family Medicine, which enjoys the richest balance sheet of any ABMS member board with assets of over $137 million dollars, seems to have a hard time letting go however. The ABFM released this multi-page tortuous statement, portion of which is published below:
Changes to Certification Deadlines

At this time, ABFM has made the following accommodations to the deadlines for your continuous certification participation:

All Diplomates with a three-year stage ending in 2020 will have a one-year extension on completing all stage requirements.

For Diplomates participating in FMCLA, the Quarter 1 deadline has already been extended through June 15, 2020; we anticipate extending completion guidelines further for subsequent quarters. For first year participants, we will adjust the meaningful participation guidelines.

Any Diplomate in Year 10 of their certification cycle who opted for the one-day examination will have an additional year to meet their examination requirement.

Any board-eligible family physician with an eligibility end date in 2020, or anyone participating in the Re-Entry process with an end date in 2020, will have an additional year to obtain their certification.

Any Diplomate who also holds a Certificate of Added Qualification with an examination deadline in 2020 will have the option for an additional year to complete the examination requirement.

For those facing financial hardship as the result of the pandemic, we will establish a method for delaying 2020 payments. This will take a short time to be implemented online, but once available, Diplomates will find information about this in their Physician Portfolio.

These extensions do not prevent anyone with a 2020 deadline from staying on the current timeline. Certification activities will be accessible for anyone who wants to use them.

Certification Stage Activity Requirements

We are continuing our efforts to improve our current Knowledge Self-Assessments (KSA) and will begin to support learning on COVID-19 as evidence becomes more available.

Specifically related to the Performance Improvement (PI) requirement, we will be providing a mechanism to meet the PI requirement by telling us about the unprecedented and rapid changes that you had to make in the ways that you deliver care, regardless of practice type or scope.

An extension has been granted to the first quarter deadline for anyone who is utilizing Continuous Knowledge Self-Assessment (CKSA) as part of their certification activities. The deadline to complete your current quarter 25-question set has been extended from March 31 to June 15, 2020. As the experience of the pandemic evolves, further extensions may be needed.

Any Diplomate who had planned to participate in a Group KSA that has been canceled or postponed can still do the activity online in their ABFM Physician Portfolio. The same certification points and CME credit will be applied as if it was done in a group setting.


Let's keep the magnitude of what frontline doctors are doing today in the care of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, shall we? The above gibberish should be simplified to the following:

"Any ABFM diplomate caring for patients between 1 Feb 2020 and 1 July 2020 and holding a valid medical license to practice medicine while risking their lives and the lives of their loved ones on behalf of their patients during the COVD-19 pandemic has hereby demonstrated all the skills, professionalism, fortitude, and leadership required to establish themselves as a physician in good standing for a lifetime and will receive lifetime certification from the American Board of Family Medicine without restriction. Self-selected continuing medical education for ongoing education, as required by their respective state licensing boards, will be all that is required of these exceptional physician professionals thereafter.""

Instead, the American Board of Family Medicine seems hellbent on proving just how irrelevant, greedy, insensitive, and distracting they are to the care of our patients in this time of unprecedented physical, psychological, and economic need.



Who do the member boards serve? said...

So true. It's not the first time the American Board of Family Practice/Medicine used their MOC money, position over physicians and political clout as a means to profit from a national crisis.

You can really see who your friends are and who you trust in a crisis. ABFM is unbelievable!

All physicians serving during this time of crisis deserve a lifetime certification from the ABMS.

CoV-19 is the test of a lifetime.

Alan Kogan, MD said...

"Greed is good", the immortal words of Gordon Gekko, should be part of the American Board of Family Practice credo. In fact, perhaps that entire "greed is good" soliloquy could supplant our Hippocratic Oath


The truth about MOC has been under lock down for over three decades.

MOC is a certified Ponzi Scheme that causes harm to patients and doctors. Physicians are forced to pay for ABMS executive largess and the loss of physician autonomy. Industry consolidation, loss of jobs and patient contact time.

MOC bucks pad the investment accounts of executives and member boards. Being tested to death and forced to keep paying the ABMS for life sucks.

Anonymous said...

Definition of voluntary:

1: proceeding from the will or from one's own choice or consent
a voluntary action.
voluntary cooperation
2:unconstrained by interference : SELF-DETERMINING
a voluntary participant.
3; acting or done of one's own free will without valuable consideration or legal obligation
a voluntary conveyance.
4: provided or supported by voluntary action
a voluntary institution/organization.


Anonymous said...


I hope the courts are going after these criminals

Handmaidens of the Police State said...

It is now official. The ABMS / ABR is taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to slip a legal (or illegal) jewell through the cracks for their self-serving agendas. The ABMS with a trick derived from the "ABMS Handbook for Surveillance State Bureaucrats" has now made the Orwellian future we all feared a reality.

Steve said...

I cannot believe we are dealing with this topic. I’m more amazed at how many physicians don’t raise their voices and just accept this unfair process. It’s about money and that’s it! Period! It is such a joke and does absolutely nothing to help society or make a physician’s skills improved. I’m forced to test over all topics of FM and I don’t practice FM!!!! I’m a ACGME board-certified interventional pain physician and have been for 12 years. I have to actually falsely come up with fake patients to fulfill the ABFM requirements! It’s ludicrous! Join the fight against MOC please! Donate.