It is safe to say that physicians are none too pleased with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and its recertification process.
Following two recent Medical Economics posts (MOC, recertifications are ‘cancers’ doctors should rally against and Demanding the end of ABIM recertification exams), physicians from around the country did not hold back their anger towards ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC), even calling for a national boycott of the exam.
Find out what your colleagues had to say and what they believe can—and should—be done.
Dr. David W. Allison
Plastic and reconstructive surgery
We need to keep up the pressure and continue to speak out against this tyranny. MOC and recertification is all about money and control administered by unelected, private corporations, otherwise known as "the boards." If more doctors could just come together and muster the courage to give these people the middle finger, there would be no stopping us! Stop sending these jerks your hard earned money!
I am 66 years old, grandfathered into IM (certification) through no fault or actions by me and no longer certified in geriatrics because I refused to decertify in 2002. There is an ABIM executive office “need” to generate income to pay their organizational expenses, which is why MOC exists. You can blame the ABIM officers but not all us practicing old farts please.
Dr. James Lumeng
Internal medicine / oncology
It is important that physicians who sit on the medical staff committee of hospitals begin to work towards not requiring recertification. There is no basis for the requirement. It does not mean that the physician is providing quality care. There are mechanisms in the hospital to ensure high quality of care is provided.
ABIM has become nothing more than a panel of extortionists, holding hard-working physicians hostage while paying themselves exorbitant salaries. The entire MOC/recertification process is nothing more than a moneymaking scam. Their behavior must be stopped.
Dr. Adam Lauer
The way to stop [the American Board of Medical Specialties] and its specialty boards from making MDs re-certify could be as simple as every doctor refusing to re-certify. Thus, the revenue of these boards would dwindle and they would lose much of their lobbying power.
If every doctor refused re-certification, would the nation’s hospitals drop every doctor from their staff? No . . . they would have to change their bylaws or close their doors.
I absolutely agree that the ABIM recertification should be stopped . . .
Given all the prep time that has to go into studying for the boards, as well as payment for classes and other products produced by ABIM that are a must if you hope to pass the boards, it forms an intolerable burden on many of these providers who are now in the midst of their professional lives.
Dr. Alan Shiener
Internal medicine / cardiology
Sherman Oaks, California
I am happy to see people revolting, but believe that revolting will ultimately fail. The [American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)] will bide their time and over the next 5 years will ultimately prevail.
The AMA used to be one of the most powerful "unions" in America—the failing is not government or insurance but our inability as physicians to unite to confront those who have taken the control of medicine away. Until we can follow our forefathers’ guidance of "out of many, one" or "united we stand, divided we fall," they will continue to pick us off one by one.
Edward Volpintesta, MD
I knew that it would only be a matter of time before all specialties were encouraged by the show of outrage against the ABIM.
Physicians are overburdened with work and many are either burned out or on the verge. This decomposition of spirit and joy in practice has been going on for at least a decade and it represents a crisis as great as any that doctors have been dealing with.
I . . . strongly support an end to ABIM recertification. It's absurd that I'm being tested on vent settings and ER labs when I haven't set (foot) in a hospital for 17 years!
For my re-certification, I had questions about innervation of the face, (I am a dermatologist) that (had) my colleague, a neurosurgeon, searching for the answer in his books—(he) couldn't find the answer. How absurd is that?