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    The man behind MOC defends the program against critics

     

     ME: How would you characterize the ABIM’s relationship with the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons [an organization founded last year to offer doctors an alternative route to maintaining certification]? I assume you saw their announcement in the last couple of days about their agreement with the osteopathic association?

    RB: To be honest, I didn’t actually see that announcement, and Dr. Teirstein [Paul Teirstein, MD, NBPAS founder and president] and I have spoken on a number of occasions.

    I think it’s pretty clear what the difference is. Again, for NBPAS as I understand their requirements, it’s ‘send us copies of your CME certificates and a check and we’ll send you a certificate as long as you were originally ABMS board-certified in any ABMS discipline.’  

    There’ve always been boards like that. Rand Paul created his own ophthalmology board 25 years ago or so. And it hung around for a few years in Kentucky and then he stopped doing it. But there have always been boards out there. The difference between us and them is the standards. We have a set of standards, and when you asked earlier why we aren’t moving faster, why don’t we just have an answer to this, it’s because having meaningful standards that are real is very difficult to do and it takes a lot of work. We make that investment. And NBPAS, as far as I can tell, has not made that investment.

     

    Related: Physicians fed up, feel trapped by MOC

     

    Now, they’ve been around a year and a half. The last I saw on their website they say they have 3,100 doctors who’ve signed up. There’s 900,000 doctors in the country. We have 200,000 doctors. I think that people are staying with us because we issue something that means something, as opposed to, if all you’re doing is the same think you had to do for licensure anyway, what’s the value added? And I think people have been angry at us and they wanted to say, ‘we want an alternative.’ But I haven’t seen a lot of large reputable organizations get on that train, because they care about standards too. 

     ME: So you’re not concerned that what NBPAS does may make what ABIM does irrelevant? 

     RB: I’m not concerned at all, I think if anything they make it more relevant, because they highlight the fact that we actually have a performance standard in the middle of our program. 

     ME: Another big concern we hear is how ABIM spends its money. And today’s announcement didn’t really  touch on finances at all. Are you concerned about the anger that’s out there about ABIM’s finances?

    RB: A lot of people have raised issues about that. We are fully transparent about that. Go to our website, abim.org/finances and you’ll see a graphic that shows you where we spend our money and how we spend our money. You’ll see an audited financial statement posted on our website, which very few nonprofits do.

    Next: "To put it more bluntly..."

    6 Comments

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    • UBM User
      Reading this reminds me of a farmer mandating all his chickens learn how to make more and better eggs. Nothing good for the chickens, only making more money for the farmer.
    • UBM User
      Oh yes! Doctors need the self reassure cr of being able to pass an exam!! Where does he come off speaking for other docs? He is simply justifying his existence which is a disgraceful attempt to perpetuate this ignorant process. Come forward with real evidence that justifies his belief and we'll listen. O/W all the docs beholden to this process need to rise up against and walk swiftly from these mandates! Remember that the hospital needs you!!
    • UBM User
      The arrogance of these people is astounding. It's just like Washington, DC, just on a smaller scale. The rules don't apply to them. Rules are for the peasants. Just like Hillary Clinton, who is never held accountable for anything she does. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others...
    • [email protected]
      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair
    • Anonymous
      "Doctor" Baron is just another wacky didactic physician gone wild administrator making rules and regs from his Ivory tower. Rules he'll never have to follow cause he makes 'em up as he goes. MOC is a farce
    • Anonymous
      Said the physician executive from the study of his million dollar home.

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