Wake up ABOG, you are tearing the House of Medicine apart to protect MOC

Guest Post from Howard C. Mandel, MD

On February 10, 2012 Medical Economics published my letter: Why don’t lawyers have to be recertified?

As an obstetrician/gynecologist who finished my residency in 1985, I earned a 10-year certificate when taking my boards. If I had graduated in 1984, I would have been certified for life. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) requires a two-part exam. The first part is written, and the second is a 3-hour oral examination, part of which is based on the entire list of all the physician’s hospitalized patients plus representative outpatient visits. I passed and was recertified 10 years later. In 2001, my specialty board modified the certificate to be valid for 6 years. Continue reading

Physician Comments on ABIM “2020” Blog

from Dr. Howard Mandel:

I find these comments on this thread quite interesting—-Marilyn as a regulator and as a lawyer, are you advising that all lawyers retake the Bar exam every year or two? If not are you advising that the federal government mandate that lawyers take a national certification or recertification exam? How about architects, engineers, nurses and other professionals? Every time testing goes on there is a pro and a con, a cost and a benefit——where does the money come from to pay for this? If there were proven benefit, we all could have a different discussion, but there is no scientifically proven benefit—-only cost. Lawyers are trained to argue based on law and interpretation of the law; doctors argue based on scientific fact. Doctors opine based on scientific fact, pros and cons, risks and benefits. MOC has never been proven to be beneficial but it does have real costs. Some of those costs are non economic and are harmful to the medical profession. There are decreased attendance to educational meetings that are more relevant to those individuals practice, there is decreased comradery and decreased time for physicians to read/study articles that apply to their specific patient populations. America has a very diverse population—-one size does not fit all. Do you think that all women should only buy a size “4″ pair of jeans? All men drive the same kind of car? Nobody should be uncivil. The tone that we all pick up from the thread is obviously one of anger and frustration. As a lawyer and defender of peoples rights, I can not figure out why you would defend MOC. It is a one size fits all program that has never been proven to improve the quality of care. It takes away individual freedom of physicians who have sought varied approved ways to keep current and it is weakening the profession of medicine by destroying other long proven quality CME programs and meetings.