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    Don't MOC him

    Tired of preparing for a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) test that didn’t reflect his skills or what he practiced on a daily basis, Paul Teirstein, MD, set out to create an alternative to the process.

    Teirstein, a San Diego-based cardiologist, started an online petition in 2014 to find other doctors who were equally fed up with the time and money required to comply with MOC. He sent it to six colleagues as a test group. Within days, he had 300 signatures, and two months later, he had 23,000. “When I saw that, I thought, ‘Wow, this is really wrong. This is an issue we can all agree on,’” says Teirstein.


    INTERACTIVE MAP: Anti-MOC legislative scoreboard


    After presenting the results to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the organization that oversees MOC, he was told no changes would be made. “People told me the horse was out of the barn, it was too late and that they were too big of an organization to fight,” Teirstein says. “They told me to just do my MOC testing and make better use of my time.”

    Disappointed but undeterred, he decided to start his own program as an alternative to the MOC process while still supporting initial board certification. He formed the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPS) to oversee the new program which, in place of testing, requires accredited continuing medical education credits as well as meeting certain licensure and credentialing requirements.

    “We are trying to stop an onerous and expensive regulatory requirement by a private organization, and I think we are making progress,” says Teirstein. By the end of 2017, nine states had passed some form of alternative recertification legislation while another 11 were considering similar laws.


    YOUR VOICE: MOC is wrong. Period.


    Teirstein seeks either a complete revision of MOC that includes the removal of testing and any appearance of financial motivation relating to MOC, or recognition of his NBPAS alternative certification by more hospitals and insurance companies. At the end of 2017, 66 hospitals accepted the alternative certification, and no payers besides Medicare. 

    Next: "They’ve made some good changes, but not enough"

    Todd Shryock
    Todd Shryock, contributing author

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    • Anonymous
      MOC is a waste of time.l can't imagine poor docs have to work so hard to keep up on data entry ,data collection,transmission,new coding changes and then work harder to pay Exuberant or any salaries of the MOC proponents. Even those doctors from university hospitals who believe or support MOC ,I won't be surprised if there were financial ties with MOC board in any shape or form directly or indirectly. It is time to speak up and fight for your survival. Docs, even I nature there is survival of fittest.

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