Doctors who completed their training in the early 1990’s, came into practice being told that their Board Certifications would be valid for just 10 years, with the need for re-testing every 10 years. The premise behind this concept was that physicians who participated in MOC found great value in it and that patients demanded that their doctors participate in MOC.
Having re-certified in 2005, and finding no real benefit to my practice, and feeling rather humiliated by the methods utilized by the Board to ensure a “secure” exam, I decided to query my colleagues and patients about their feelings towards MOC.
Only 13% of a physician sample over 600 found MOC of any value.
Less than 10% of patients correctly identified the meaning of Board Certification. Most people believe that Board Certification means being certified by a State Licensing Board.
Less than 6% of patients indicated that they use ABMS Certification as a criteria when they choose their doctor. A majority use their personal experience, and recommendations from family/friends/other doctors as their main criteria when choosing a doctor.
The myth being spread by ABMS and its affiliates, that the public demands MOC from its physicians, who in turn find great value in participating in it, is false. While we tried unsuccessfully to get this data published in the standard, well-known journals, we came to realize that these journals are themselves co-conspirators, along with ABMS, in spreading this myth.
The truth lies with patients and their doctors, who realize that the heart of medicine is the trusting relationship between the patient and his/her physician.
No test can properly assess this, and passing a test never has and never will be, an assurance of the quality of care. MOC is a manufactured solution to an imagined problem should be abandoned as soon as possible. It is time for truth to prevail.
Arvind Cavale MD is an endocrinologist in private practice, you can follow Dr. Cavale on Twitter @endodocPA.