Does MOC make you a better physician?

April 30, 2015

Medical Economics Editorial Advisory Board members weigh in on the effectiveness of MOC

Elizabeth A. Pector, MD

Board certified: Yes

Field: Family Medicine

“I do believe that primary care maintenance of certification has some value in a rapidly changing medical system and increasing consumer expectations of quality for their healthcare dollars. The self-assessment modules sometimes seemed only borderline relevant to my practice, and practice improvement projects could be either simple or daunting, but they are valuable in helping doctors understand the principles of continuous quality improvement. The usefulness of the certification process breaks down when doctors leave their originally certified field for something of a very narrow spectrum.”

Joseph E. Scherger, MD

Board certified: Yes

Field: Family Medicine

Editor’s note: Scherger was a member of the American Board of Family Medicine when MOC was developed.

“I am very supportive of MOC. I support continuous learning and quality improvement. MOC enhances these making for better doctors. I learned from every SAM and my Step IV project on diabetes improved my care.”

Kenneth R. Kubitschek, MD

Board certified: Yes

Field: Internal Medicine

“I believe that the entire process has become ridiculously over-burdensome. According to my partners who have continued to re-certify, the questions asked often correlate poorly with the real-world practice of medicine. ... I understand why there is a movement afoot to at least make testing somewhat relevant to the competencies needed in daily practice while simultaneously reducing the burdensome financial cost and loss of valuable time.”

Maria Y. Chandler, MD, MBA

Board certified: Yes

Field: Pediatrics

No, I do not feel it makes me a better physician. I must take the certifying exam in 2017, which is 25 years into my practice and I believe I will be tested on many areas I haven’t practiced since I finished training.”

Mary Ann Bauman, MD

Board certified: Yes

Field: Internal Medicine

“I agree with the voiced concerns that the present system is very expensive, time consuming and not always relevant to practice.”

Jeffrey M. Kagan, MD

Board certified: Yes

Field: Internal Medicine

“I do believe we should be required to obtain ongoing CME, but I think the current system is not very good at meeting the goals of maintaining competence to practice.”

Melissa Lucarelli, MD

Board certified: Yes

Field: Family Medicine

Better as compared to what? I am not sure that the MOC process makes me a better clinician, but I’ve certainly gotten more skilled at navigating online learning modules and clinical simulations. ... While the experts debate the benefits of all of this measuring and reporting, I concede that the MOC process has at least helped to drag me and my practice into the digital age, but I still doubt that the considerable cost in time and resources has resulted in proportionate clinical benefits.”