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    Docs sound off, question MOC

     

    Eric Green, MD

    Type of practice: General internist and director, internal medicine residency program, Mercy Catholic Medical Center

    Location: Philadelphia/Darby, Pennsylvania

    Years in practice: 16

    Most recent board certification: 2011

    Recent MOC-related financial costs: Review course (including cost of course and travel and hotel expenses), about $1,600; MKSAP, $690; review books, $600; annual MOC dues, $194

    MOC-related time costs: Three days for review course, one day for taking exam

    ACP/ABIM affiliation: Member of the ABIM Liaison Committee on Certification and Recertification

    Q: Where are you currently in the MOC process?

     

    Related: Top 10 challenges facing physicians in 2017

     

    A: I get MOC points from going to live meetings of various types and using the online product UpToDate. 

    Q: Were you doing any of the patient engagement or practice improvement activities before they suspended those requirements?

    A: I was, but I found them to be very low-yield. I thought it was a poor use of my time.  and I resented that. 

    Q: What has been the cost of MOC to you? 

    A: I spent roughly $600 over three years on book of preparation materials. The review  course was about $1,000, I think, and I spent three nights in a hotel at roughly $200 per night. Then with the prep course and a day for the exam that’s four days I wasn’t seeing patients and there’s a time and opportunity cost to that. But if you’re looking at it as one work week out of 52 every 10 years, it’s not that much. 

    A lot of times when I talk with my peers about this they ask what they’re getting for their money with MOC. I say I don’t know what I get every time I pay my automobile registration to the state of Pennsylvania. I view the money I pay to the ABIM as it lets me make the statement that I’m board-certified. The $200 or whatever we pay the board every year is nothing. People like accountants spend a lot more for their annual professional licensure. 

    Q: What benefits do you derive from the MOC process? 

    A: My overall feeling is that the MOC concept is a good one, which doesn’t always make me popular among my peers. The issue is that in day-to-day practice it’s easy to miss something that may have changed, that’s new. You get busy, you miss a journal or two. The point is, if you don’t know something, you’re never going to think about it, or diagnose it. That’s just the bottom line. So pushing docs a little out of their comfort zone is good. 

    Q: If you could design your ideal MOC process, what would it look like?

    A: I would love it if we had a MOC process that says the majority of you folks are doing fine, you’re demonstrating in some way that’s not burdensome to you that you’re keeping up. Then the people who don’t keep up, we’re going to say you need to do a little more active work to demonstrate that you’re keeping up.  

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