ABMS and Extortion

We all believe that doctors need certification.  Most of us, however, think this recertification process (I have done it twice already) is a money grab and a joke.  Just look the the coffers of the ABFM or the ABIM and you realize this is a scam.  I don’t love the AMA but I will give them credit for trying to end this garbage. Currently, physicians who pass their initial board certifications get their names dropped from some ABMS member boards’ websites if they opt out of any of the MOC recertification.  I have been sent blackmail letters from the ABFM that unless I pay up they will remove me in December.  It will be like I have never certified at all.

(make sure you sign up for our weekly newsletter for reminders and extra insights/columns)

The AMA did this recently:

Delegates voted to challenge this practice, adopting the resolution’s proposed language that “the names and initial certification status of time-limited diplomates shall not be removed from ABMS and ABMS member boards’ websites or physician certification databases even if the diplomate chooses not to participate in MOC.”

The new policy seeks to apply the same protections to time-limited physicians—those who are required to recertify every 10 years—as it does to “grandfathered” physicians, who received their initial certification prior to the era in which recertification was requisite.

What does this move mean?  I am not sure.  I need help from others to explain this to me  Dr. Wes Fisher, are you there?

(get a weekly reminder of our great posts. no spam. ever.)

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] 

  6 comments for “ABMS and Extortion

  1. Kurt
    June 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    WELL WHAT’S A BODY TO DO TO PROTEST IF WE CAN’T DO DPC AND DON’T WANT TO GET HACKED JUST TO STAY ON A FEW MORE YEARS TO RETIREMENT? (Sorry for the emphasis but I hate MOC and the stressors it places on us)

  2. Ann
    June 21, 2017 at 10:29 am

    sounds like once in grace, always in grace to me….

  3. Aaron M. Levine, MD
    June 21, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I am multi Board Certified. Two are life time, but one asked med in 1990 to go MOC route. I did not know what that meant. I am 70. My Pain Boards expire in 3 years. I have been informed I have to sign up for the exam beginning this year. I am not sure I will practice in 3 years.

  4. June 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Doug –

    Read the title of the AMA article: “Delegates seek more alignment of MOC, quality improvement work.”

    No we don’t. We voted to -END- MOC a year ago. We voted that way for the reasons you sight (money grab without evidence of it efficacy at improving patient safety or quality of care), because of ABIM’s strongman tactics to monopolize their educational product using a convicted felon as their Director of Test Security who has access to our personal records and violated physician civil liberties when he helped coordinate a raid on the Arora Board Review that led to a writ to seize computer files that allowed ABIM to track and target vulnerable physician candidate emails , and to contront the ABIM’s fraud perpetrated on practicing physicians in America, including falsified tax records and discriminating against younger physicians (making young doctors have to participate while older physicians were “grandfathered”). The AMA did nothing in response to this effort by the AMA House of Delegates.

    There is nothing legitimate about the ABMS MOC product, other than it generates 18% to 59% of annual revenues for the various ABMS member boards and supplies a steady stream of cash to various subspecialty societies that are all too happy to “teach to the test.”

    This is why 17 states (so far) have forwarded legislation attempting to remove ABMS MOC as a condition for state licensure, hospital credentialing, or insurance panel participation and payments. Every step of the way, the American Hosptial Association and American Board of Medical Specialties lobbies have fought this effort tooth and nail, because they understand MOC’s power at limiting competition in the health care marketplace. Hospitals WANT physicians to be their employees for obvious reason: they have the relationship with the hospital’s customers: patients and their insurance policies.

    Recognize that MOC is now a “right to work” (or better, a “right to care”) issue for physicians. That is: should an unaccountable self-appointed non-profit organization (any ABMS member board) have the authority to limit your ability to work in the health care marketplace?

    This is what we are fighting for: physician autonomy to work on behalf of their patients without interference from third parties and these overbearing (and even unlawful) regulations like MOC that have been imposed by others. I would encourage your readers to join our effort at Practicing Physicians of America ( http://www.practicingphysician.org ). It’s a David vs. Goliath effort, but together, we can push back and (hopefully) save our profession and our sanity.


  5. Steve O'
    June 20, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I am certified by NBPS. It uses the traditional method of certification. One becomes Board Certified at the specialty of one’s choice. Continued attention to CME must be reported, and the physician recertified at an appropriate interval. The NBPS takes the perspective that physicians are not lazy, greedy sods who are looking for an excuse to practice Low Quality Medicine. Rather, one qualifies, not rents, one’s certification; and one keeps it by staying current with the literature.

    Yes, there is a cost to it, but it’s far more dignified than doing the silly clown tricks added on to MOC by the boards. The ABMS should note that Barnum & Bailey’s recently went out of business. I suggest that it was for the same reasons. Being a performing animal is a bit insulting. The bears and tigers got their rights; perhaps some day, physicians.

  6. SIR Allya Gotta Do Is...
    June 20, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I believe initial certification is important but after that I focus on my practice specialty. MOC is a money grab and I am still board certified but along another avenue. A much more pertinent organization. I chose The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. It deals with reality and run by individuals with clinical acumen.

Comments are closed.