Letter to the editor: MOC doesn’t improve medical care

A reader says maintenance of certification exam did not cover the day-to-day medical issues she confronts in her practice.

I was very interested to read the article about maintenance of certification (MOC) and its need to be abolished. (“MOC must go: One physician’s viewpoint,” January 25, 2014.) I am a pediatrician practicing in Ohio. I have been board certified since 1993. I have continued to go through the motions to stay board certified but with each new hurdle, I get more frustrated.

I recently had to retake my recertification exam and was completely dumbfounded. I took an on-line board review course and put in over 100 hours in to studying because I really had no idea what to expect. I truly felt well prepared but thought that a lot of the information I reviewed was not anything that a private practitioner did on a daily basis.

I took the test in November and was completely blown away. There was not a single question on general pediatric anticipatory guidance, something that I talk about at least 15 times a day. There was nothing on asthma management, atopic dermatitis, acne, or sleep problems. Instead, I had a multitude of esoteric questions as if I were an emergency physician, geneticist, or neonatologist. I was so disgusted after I took the test that I wrote a note to the American Board of Pediatrics stating my disappointment.

I feel that these MOC requirements are not really making us better physicians. Rather, they are just another hurdle (like we don’t have enough) for us to jump over. If you speak to any practicing physician, I don’t think you will find any who believe that any of these activities make us better physicians, nor do they prove that we are providing up-to-date medical care.

 Brigitta Moresea, MD

 Canton, Ohio