AMA, ABMS and the MOC

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If you haven’t heard, the AMA came out opposing the whole process of the MOC.  Amazing, right?  Well, let me direct you this site where it described how the AMA attempted to gut the resolution as seen in the image above.  The wussies were trying to win but:

Between testimony in Reference Committee C on Sunday, and final voting on Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Medical Society melted the meeting down with a blistering two hour exposé on the abuses of the ABIM and the boards in general. It was standing room only, with Dr. Wesby Fisher and Charles Kroll presenting their financial data, Dr. Bonnie Weiner discussing NBPAS, and Dr. Scott Shapiro announcing the PA Medical Society’s vote of “no confidence” in the ABIM and plans to pursue legal action against the boards. Full report on the meeting and PowerPoint presentations can be found here.

With a much needed boost in morale and the data to support strong action, the full house convened on Wednesday and the delegates soundly rejected the Committee’s butchering of the resolution, extracted it to a full vote on the house floor, and restored the strong language of the first resolved. It passed easily.

RESOLVED,That our American Medical Association call for the immediate end of any mandatory, secured recertifying examination by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or other certifying organizations as part of the recertification process for all those specialties that still require a secure, high-stakes recertification examination.

Unfortunately, the war probably hasn’t even started. The ABMS stands to lose hundreds of millions and came back with this:

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is opposed to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) call for the immediate end to any mandatory, secure recertifying examination by ABMS or other certifying organizations as part of the recertification process for those specialties that still require a secure, high-stakes recertification examination.

Consumers, patients, hospitals and other users of the Board Certification credential expect board certified physicians to be up-to-date with the knowledge, judgment and skills of their specialty—both at the point of initial certification and along the physician’s career path – and to verify it through an external assessment. The privilege to self-regulate which physicians enjoy demands that we meet that expectation with more than just continuing medical education.

Privilege?  I stopped reading after that.  We all need to stand together and Kill the MOC.  What a bunch of asswipes the ABMS is. Let’s flush it away.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  11 comments for “AMA, ABMS and the MOC

  1. June 23, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Many more shoes to drop in this fascinating and disturbing story I tripped over by accident in the summer of 2014. AMA presentation with hyperlinks in .html or .pdf

  2. June 22, 2016 at 7:57 am

    It’s even more complicated (of course) and the conflicts run deep:

    I urge everyone to comment on the CMS MACRA Bill.

    • Doug Farrago
      June 22, 2016 at 8:45 am

      Wes! You are one of my heroes! Please feel free to write a blog entry now and then on this site so I can spread your gospel of truth.

      • June 22, 2016 at 10:52 am

        Doug –
        You’re doing great work. I stop by here often and love your unabashed commentary. Keep it up!

        • Doug Farrago
          June 22, 2016 at 11:15 am


  3. Perry
    June 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

    I call BS. Yes, the public expects us to be up-to-date. No, I don’t think the public expects us to take an idiotic trivial pursuit test every 10 years( which requires a terrorism screening to make sure we won’t cheat, even though we are responsible for the well-being of our patients every day) to ensure we are fit to practice medicine. Funny, the “privilege” to self-regulate also gives some the privilege as board members to make 3 times the salaries the docs in the trenches make.

    • Perry
      June 22, 2016 at 8:11 am

      And, by the way in almost 30 years of practice, I have never once had a patient ask me if I was Board Certified.

      • Thomas Guastavino
        June 22, 2016 at 8:17 am

        And as far as I know the docs who were “grandfathered” were just as good as those who are being MOCed to death. Another good argument for dumping board re-certification.

    • Victor Hong, M.D.
      June 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Perry, the problem is not that we have to recertify every 10 years. But for many specialties, MOC now needs to be done every 3 years. I’m boarded in Psychiatry and have a subspecialty board certification in Child/ Adolescent Psychiatry. Therefore, after my initial 10 years, I now need to take tests 2 out of every 3 years ! Internal Medicine has it even worse, as a general internist has to do MOC every 2 years. That is cumbersome and unnecessary. It ultimately leads to worse patient care.

  4. Thomas Guastavino
    June 22, 2016 at 6:12 am

    The answer to the ABMS position is simple. Physicians are already staying up to date by obtaining CME credit to maintain licensure, in most cases every two years not ten with MOC. Just show that the MOC and board re-certification process is redundant and unnecessary.

  5. Chad Savage, M.D.
    June 22, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Not only that, but ABMS has a “comment” section that will not allow comments. I knew something was up when there were zero comments on this an the ABMS’ statement on the Oaklahoma law from APRIL! There is no way zero people commented.
    Nonetheless, I attempted to comment. I was alarmed to see my comment had to be “approved” by ABMS. What is the chance that they’d approve a decenting opinion? Well 5 days later and it’s still not posted and they expect me to believe that, still, ZERO people have commented on the most significant thing to happen to MOC in decades.
    Here is my comment for what it is worth.
    “The AMA recently came out against the extort known as mandatory board rectification. I posted this comment on the boards (ABMS) statement comment section. ABMS has to “approve” the comment !?!? What are the odds they’ll approve dissenting opinions? ”
    “We do not self regulate. We have licensure requirements with mandatory Continuing Medical Education (CME) requirements that ensure we are up to date. Under whose determination, beyond the boards and their own self-interest, is it concluded that this is “not sufficient”? To rebrand Board Certification into a regulatory agency is a severe perversion of its original intent. Which was a voluntary “badge of distinction”

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