Maintenance of Certification. Is it DOA?Do you remember the Wendy’s commercial, when they cleverly parodied how most fast food restaurants where providing all bread and no meat? This is the same feeling doctors possess about Maintenance of Certification.

According to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the purpose of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), is to “promote lifelong learning and the enhancement of the clinical judgement and skills essential for high quality patient care.” In theory that‘s admirable, but where’s the beef? Ain’t no beef.

Physicians all over the country, have been highly critical of these exams / certification, arguing they serve no patient interest. Dr. Juliette Madrigal-Dersch

[1] said as much during her eye-opening keynote address at an AAPS (American Association of Physicians & Surgeons) event. She questioned the benefit of doctors taking time away from their practice to acquire this particular certification, when the test questions are antiquated, and the process to taking the exam is so onerous and burdensome.

TweetFor any doctor looking to take the MOC test, one must first accumulate 100-points, and go through a tedious patient survey process, which includes useless “quality of care questions”. By useless, I mean “quality of care” questions that have nothing to do with true quality of care.. So who really benefits? The lines are blurry… Some entities claim the public demands MOC, but where’s the data? Where’s the beef?

We often hear rhetoric about improving the patient experience, but when are healthcare industry influencers and decision-makers actually going to make it easier to do so?

Healthcare institutions need to do a gut check and better determine where’s the bun and where’s the beef. In other words, what directly impacts the quality of care – the metric that matters the most.

[1] http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/site/article/message_from_aaps_president_juliette_madrigal-dersch_md/