MOC leaders act like a licensing body

July 25, 2013

Letter to the editor

In his letter in your June 10 issue (“MOC: We should be held to the same standards”) Robert M. Kleinhaus, MD expressed his unhappiness over the fact that physicians who were “grandfathered” into permanent board status do not have to undergo maintenance of certification. But the broader issue is whether the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is justified to require MOC in the first place.

The world in which the ABMS originated (almost a century ago) and the world in which physicians practice today are vastly different. If the pressures under which physicians practice today had existed at the time when the boards were created, it is doubtful that our medical leadership would have agreed to the over-reaching influence that they exert today. As originally created, the boards were voluntary.

However, now the leaders of the maintenance of certification movement have arrogated to themselves the authority of a licensing body. This is far too much power for them. Their computer-based test, at best can only assess a part of a physician’s skills, dedication, and overall capabilities.

Most physicians do participate in personalized, continuing medical education. MOC is redundant and an unnecessary burden.

Edward Volpintesta, MD

Bethel, Connecticut