Letter to the editor: MOC not needed as long as CME is maintained

March 10, 2014

A reader writes that he has been recertified four times and met his continuing medical education requirements, so he should not be required to do maintenance of certification again.

I am 74 and have been in family medicine for over 45 years. I took my family physician boards for the first time in 1975, and passed them. I have taken my recertification exams four times since then, passing each time. I have kept up my continuing medical education as required, and even teach medical students.

My board certification expired in 2009. I did not take the exam again, since I felt that five times was enough. I also mistakenly thought that I would remain in a situation in case I ever decided to retake the exam. However, I see no need to do this at my stage of life, since I do not know how long I will continue practicing.

I have discovered that I am not considered board eligible, unless I complete three requirements, including one “self-assessment module,” for $600. I do comply with the other two requirements. I feel this is grossly unfair, and that I should be considered grandfathered as a board-certified family physician, or at least be granted an emeritus position. I feel the recertification process is nothing more than a way to make money, and should be done away with as long as continuing medical education requirements are maintained.

I have been offered a certificate, congratulating me for passing my boards five times, “suitable for framing.” Just thought I would offer my opinion on the MOC situation. 

 Enrico J. DiRienzo, MD

Penndel, Pennsylvania