The AAFP Loves the ABFM and Sleeps Right Along Side Them

Doctors have to get CME each year to keep their state licenses up to date. Unless you have been under a rock, you know that the ABFM has been controlling the board certification process forever. They also invented the MOC (maintenance of certification) in order to capture all that CME money. Wes Fisher MD has been getting traction in suing the ABIM but the force is strong with the ABFM. Their newest trick is to not call it MOC but instead the “Longitudinal Assessment Self-Study Package”. The AAFP, who makes a ton of money off this same process, is in bed with the ABFM. And guess what? They have the “All-in-one FMCLA companion”. FMCLA =Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment. The cost to you is only $995 ($1195 for non-members).

Do the members of the AAFP still want the MOC? It has NEVER been proven to do anything other than make them, and the ABFM, money. Do we need live and work by evidence?

Here is my twitter conversation (public) with the current president of the AAFP in January:

Feel free to ask the AAFP why they support the ABFM and the corrupt MOC, or whatever name they want to give it.

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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] 

  12 comments for “The AAFP Loves the ABFM and Sleeps Right Along Side Them

  1. Chad
    April 15, 2019 at 6:37 am

    Here, the AAFP acts like it requires a resolution to talk a stance on an issue. The AMA, AAFP, ACP, etc all take stances without resolutions with regularity. It is their job to have an idea of what their members want and try to represent them.

    • RSW
      April 15, 2019 at 7:46 am

      Exactly. The disastrous decisions to push PCMH, MIPS, MACRA, MU, MOC, etc. did not come from resolutions passed at the state level and then approved by the COD. I really don’t think they even came from the board – these are decisions made by the behind-the-scenes permanent executive staff, and then rubber stamped by the BOD.

  2. Pat
    April 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    I got into it with Shawn a couple weeks ago. He’s a mere parasite and I told him so. Neither the AAFP nor ABFM do anything that improves the lives of their members or patients.

  3. Steve O'
    April 13, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    C’mon. You got to compliment someone for running a shakedown racket, and they got pigeons to pluck who are easily intimidated and got a lot to lose.
    I like Dr. Baxley’s protest that FMCLA is a different word salad than MOC. She distracts us with irrelevant trivia about the differences.
    Here’s what the big picture is. Doctors are worse than nuisances in the new industrial medical chain. They use their accumulated experience and independent principles to decide what to do for the patient. This is – counterrevolutionary behavior. Industrial Pharma makes it, Corporate Pharma distributes it, the Insurance/CME cabal creates the algorithms for every possible treatment. Doctors are the ISIS, the al Qaida of the system. They’ve got to be cleared out at any cost.
    Making them memorize the rules and vomit them out on command is what doctors are for. And they should be paid like store clerks. In fact, once the FDA has blessed algorithmic prescribing, Doctor Watson, the driverless car of medicine, will be rolled out.
    Driverless cars crash. Algorithmically-driven planes have a serious gravity problem. No-brain prescribing will cause countless deaths. But since it’s computers, no more “human error,” right?
    You ought to watch the timeline of the Chernobyl disaster. It shows some quite intelligent, experienced and insightful engineers bending to the rules, to avoid getting fired and sent off to Siberia. Only two went to prison for breaking the rules, and a few died. Not a bad outcome, eh?
    There were at least a dozen times when an engineer couldn’t hold it anymore, and said, “We have to stop this or the plant will blow up!” They were easily shut down by bullying and intimidation. Who can say which possible outcome is better – sticking with the system, or acting like a loose cannon? Mistakes were made – but mistakes happen. Sorry.
    That’s the kind of doctors that the machine wants to install in American medicine. Thanks Betsy and Shawn. When the lid comes off, you can always run around like squirrels and say, “Why didn’t anyone let us know?” “It’s not my fault, my support personnel lied to me!” “We were only trying to do the absolute best for patients!” Thanks, comrades.

  4. April 13, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Family medicine doctors would be wise to contribute to the ABIM lawsuit effort that includes a racketeering complaint (RICO) that includes ABFM. If that suit is successful, MOC (and other forms of “continuous certification” tied to your board certification would be rendered unlawful nationwide. Donations in support of the plaintiffs can be made at

  5. Elizabeth Baxley
    April 13, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Fact Check;

    FMCLA is not MOC. It is the new alternative for the exam, which allows board certified family physicians to do their cognitive assessment over time, at their choice of location and time, and does not require a test center, full day exam, or binge and purge preparation, and it allows for referencing like we do in practice. It was selected by over 70% of physicians due to take their exam in 2019. There is no added cost from ABFM to participate in this alternative. The ABFM is not a CME granting organization.

    ABFM Family Medicine Certification activities that occur between the 10 year assessments of cognitive expertise, which was formerly referred to as MOC, are aimed at self-assessment of knowledge gaps, continuous learning and demonstrating improvement activities in practice.

    The AAFP is simply offering a longitudinal study course for anyone who chooses to utilize it to help them with learning and test preparation. It is a choice, but a requirement of certification. It does offer CME, which is what the AAFP Education Division does. There was no joint planning on this. They are doing it to help those who prefer this for their preparation and find value in doing so.

    • Doug Farrago
      April 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Fact check: Elizabeth Baxley served on the ABFM Board of Directors from 2013- 2018.

      Fact check: Family doctors do NOT want the MOC or FMCLA. It is the same thing in another name.

      Fact check: No one wants to pay the ABFM any more. “There is no additional cost – your certification fees remain the same as with the one-day examination”. – From your website. So you are still paying the ABFM

      Fact check: The AAFP makes money off docs who have to HAVE to do this.

      • Dr. J
        April 15, 2019 at 4:10 pm

        Dr. Farrago,
        I was directed to this site, and my eyes were immediately drawn to your “King of Medicine” caricature. It struck me as amusing at the least, pompous at it’s worst. Then I started reading…
        What a TREAT your posts are! THANK YOU for speaking up for Physicians everywhere in this country that wish we could just be left alone with our CME requirements to practice Medicine taught by our ACGME credentialed Residencies and our LCME accredited medical schools. Fortunately, I had a few Physicians who learned Medicine, studied patients, and taught me to use that as my primary guidelines as well.
        I almost felt bad for the AAFP folks trying to defend their MOC offering. (Disclaimer, I’m not FP/PCP.) I’ve heard several of the same arguments why their hands are tied and simply HAVE TO continue shilling for ABMS. (My favorite was that the patients I’d cared for across four States of this nation simply must not be as “sophisticated” as this particular Board Member’s patients in New York, and that’s why none of them ever actually asked about my MOC participation, keeping “current”, as per the contention of our board as it dropped the MOC bomb on us.)
        Keep up the GREAT work Doug! We will prevail!

        • Doug Farrago
          April 16, 2019 at 6:22 am

          The “King of Medicine” nickname is 20 years old and it is a goof, a way to mock the system. But thanks for you nice comments!

    • Blake
      April 13, 2019 at 4:09 pm

      Fact Check: If there is “no added cost from the ABFM to participate in this alternative,” why did we have to pay an extra $200 to participate in the longitudinal assessment instead of the single exam?

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I care to bet it is actually cheaper for the ABFM to run the longitudinal assessment since they don’t have to pay for the testing site. I suspect in the end we are getting sold a high cost for this “optional” certification.

    • RSW
      April 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Wow. Total sleaze bag not to acknowledge your deep involvement with the ABFM.

      But very typical of those profiting off this street corner shakedown racket.

    • Pat
      April 14, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      So you still make money off of us…how very noble.

Comments are closed.