Can Maintenance of Certification Pass the Test?

Journal of the American Medical Association (02/01/19) Weinberger, Steven E.

Current maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements are in need of significant reforms, writes Steven E. Weinberger, MD, FRCP, of the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Medical School. The American Board of Medical Specialties launched in 2018 an initiative called "Continuing Board Certification: A Vision for the Future." An independent commission with diverse representation from the physician community was tasked with evaluating the current MOC framework and proposing recommendations that would meet the needs of society and patients to ensure high-quality healthcare and also yield value to physicians and reduce their MOC burdens. The commission's subsequent recommendations highlighted the need for an assessment framework to identify shortages in knowledge and skills that are relevant to the physician's practice in order to cultivate lifelong learning and help physicians remain up to date with new knowledge and advances in their field. Also emphasized was the value of improving practice and quality of care to continuing certification. However, it remains uncertain that such recommendations will resolve many physicians' issues or whether all specialty boards will accept them. The financial ramifications of any changes in the MOC process—both to individual physicians and to the boards and other organizations that support physician education and quality improvement—also remain unsettled.

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