Letter to the Editor: MOC requirements will drive out experienced providers

February 24, 2014

A reader says that maintenance of certification requirements will cause older, experienced doctors to leave medicine.

I have been in private practice for over 27 years. I was board certified in internal medicine after I finished my residency with the promise it was the only time this would be required of me. I have kept up the best I could with the demands of my practice with continuing medical education and constant reading. From the feedback from my thousands of patients I must have done a pretty good job.

Now the demands of my practice require me to keep up with the latest electronic health record technology, meaningful use requirements, medical home requirements, and the upcoming transition to the International Classification of Diseases-10th revision. I am being asked to see more and more patients with the Affordable Care Act as well.

I am in the twilight of my career and although I still love the practice of medicine, I would also like to spend some time with my wife, children, and grandchildren. The thought of having to study for another board exam is almost overwhelming. The time and expense cannot be worth the effort, especially with the other demands on me at this time.

 My underlying feeling is the American Board of Internal Medicine is using maintenance of certification (MOC) as a money-making proposition and have lost touch with all the demands of private practice. They may be doing this in the name of improving quality, but in reality they are going to further drive some very experienced older physicians out of practice leaving healthcare more and more in the hands of younger extenders. I firmly feel the quality of medicine will be far from improved when that happens.

 Benjamin Levinson, MD

West Columbia, South Carolina

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