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The American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification Program Building on Past Successes

Mark A. Malangoni, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1American Board of Surgery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(8):697-698. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.0885.
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This Viewpoint describes the American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification Program.

Board certification began nearly a century ago by defining standards to recognize physicians who had developed specialized skills based on their training or experience. Since then, medicine has had the privilege of self-regulation regarding requirements for specialty practice, and certification by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has become the de facto standard for physicians practicing allopathic medicine in the United States.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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Recertification
Posted on June 4, 2015
Karl Stecher (M.D.)
retired neurosurgeon
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
I don't agree that the newer procedures were the main factor in pushing for recertification in the 1970s. As I recall, it was done to fend off government meddling in the practice of medicine/surgery: We will do it so you (the govt) won't force your uninformed rules upon us. After about 17 Boards had agreed to do this, it came to neurosurgery. Someone pointed out that we had already passed a most rigorous test when we took the Boards originally, and that neurosurgeons already needed many hours of meeting attendance to keep up membership. After about another dozen years, recertification was forced upon neurosurgeons, too.Most doctors voice that the recertification takes many hours away from patient care, is expensive, and does not really address how a physician interacts with and takes care of patients. The expense part of it is now a battleground, especially with the low reimbursement for services given to doctors today from insurance companies, and, worse still, Medicare and Medicaid.Further, surgeons generally operate in hospitals or multimember surgicenters where they are continually subject to ongoing peer review.
Reforming MOC
Posted on June 4, 2015
Lawrence A. Danto, MD FACS
UC Davis
Conflict of Interest: None Declared
While all you say about the ABS and it’s history is true, I would challenge the statement that our patients know or really even care about the board status of their surgeon. While of seeming benefit, I am unaware that MOC has even been studied and shown to be of value. The MOC process can be reformed without sacrificing quality of care.
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