Urgent Message from ACC Leadership Regarding MOC

All of us continue to be troubled by the complex situation presented by the changes in re-certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) over the past year. We have heard clearly that our members are unhappy, and many are dissatisfied with ACC actions to date. Our approach to the issue has been careful and deliberate, perhaps leading to the assumption that the ACC is not adequately addressing the problem.

The current ACC approach is as follows:

  • We respect the intelligence of our members in analyzing the best path for continuing education/certification individually and realize that it may not be the same for each of us; we are not wedded to one solution for all.
  • An ACC Task Force led by ACC Immediate Past President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, is focused on continuing to provide input to ABIM to see if proposed temporary changes become permanent and to see if their processes can further improve to the extent that they are helpful and acceptable to members.
  • A second ACC Task Force led by ACC President-Elect Richard Chazal, MD, FACC, is aggressively exploring whether an alternative board should/could be developed by ACC for our members. Potential possibilities could include: new board(s); working with already established alternate boards and/or other organizations; working within or without ABMS framework; and other solutions. While working as rapidly as possible, we want to be cautious, realizing the great complexity of the situation.

In the interim, all of us as members have alternatives. These include joining a new board, waiting to see a final ABIM proposal, and waiting to see if an alternate ACC Board is feasible and/or needed. Recent ABIM suspension of MOC part IV/patient modules and expansion of much CME to MOC II gives some potential breathing room (we are watching to see what actions will be permanent, what will be done with 10-year exams, and how to approach multiple certifications…among other problems).

Our position is to look for the best ways to help our members and their patients in proceeding forward.

Sincerely,
ACC President Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC
ACC President-Elect Richard Chazal, MD, FACC
ACC Vice President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC
ACC Immediate Past President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC
ACC Treasurer Robert Guyton, MD, FACC
ACC Board of Governors Chair Robert Shor, MD, FACC
ACC BOG Chair-Elect Matthew Phillips, MD, FACC
ACC Immediate Past BOG Chair Michael Mansour, MD, FACC

View previous MOC blogs here. Visit the ACC’s MOC Information Hub at ACC.org/MOC.

20 thoughts on “Urgent Message from ACC Leadership Regarding MOC

  1. Get out of ABIM

    If all or most cardiologists establish their own self governing system that is not held hostage to the criminals at ABIM, they long term outcome will be better for this country.

    The Dermatologists are well on their way to taking over their own board

    Read the newsweek article about ABIM and the 75 million $ fund that pays its own staff
    is the CEO called RICH BARON
    Yes, that’s his real name And he made $600k plus last year

    http://www.newsweek.com/certified-medical-controversy-320495?piano_t=1

    If we stay in ABIM, create rules for the board that are as critical as the high standards kept for us
    Make members of the Board work for no more than 75th percentile of the average american salary
    Oversight and public reporting of all funds – similar to the sunshine acr
    make each member disclose every trip and meal paid for by ABIM or the consultants

    Lastly
    We do not have any such MOC recertification for the lawyers
    Why are we creating this for ourself?
    I do not see the lawyers taking the Bar exam every 10 years.
    or the politicians or businesses for that matter

    Our jealousy of our own self – competition – has led us to develop higher and higher hurdles for all of us.
    A physicians job is hard enough without all of us wasting our scarce resource – time

  2. Good morning. Thank you for email. Thank you for moving forward. If I may pass on a few ideas.
    1. Yearly online courses that include updates in cardiology and core info review. Followed by questions. Similar to five hour driving course or infectious disease courses.
    2. Monthly journal reviews in which doctors can read a set of articles and confirm online that they are participating.

    I am a caring and learned cardiologist who is interested in staying current and relevant

    Thank you for listening

  3. The current system is onerous and overly complicated. Cardiologists who have been in practice should only have to submit approved CME in order to maintain certification. There should be no 10 year exam. Certification for graduating fellows (and foreign medical graduates who wish to practice in the US) should include the exam.

    As it stands now, the ABIM certification looks like a money making scheme and I am strongly considering alternative certification.

  4. Too little too late ACC. You have been in bed with the ABIM for years and have financially benefitted from the corruption. Mandatory $10,000 for “recertification” exams every 10 years per cardiologist is absolutely ridiculous. Interventional boards, echo boards, nuclear boards, lipid boards, chf boards… You and ABIM have become a joke to the cardiology community.

  5. Personally, I don’t have any problems with MOC modules, because they are another good learning source.

    While lifelong learning and keeping up to date is essential, to now say that my time unlimited certificate is modified in any negative way if I don’t take a test by the end of 10 years is wrong.

    As many have stated, with new technologies such as smartphones, detailed information is only seconds away from any patient interaction, allowing one to assimilate a case quickly.

    With so many other constraints developing, such as the huge additional amount of time necessary to be a data entry slave to EMR, this is yet another example of the degradation of professional contentment being a physician.

  6. ABMS must go. There is no other answer. There is NO reason for further testing of doctors. Period. The kids who refused the school testing monster should be an example to us.

  7. I recently completed the ACC MOC survey and expressed my thoughts there. I fully agree with the above concept that a one size fits all re certification process may not be optimal. ln additon to ABIM added qualification certifications such as interventional card and ep, many of us hold certificates in nonivasive disciplines such as nuc card, card ct, and echo. Each of these certificates also cycle every 10 yrs. The economic and personal burden required to maintain all of these is enormous. My personal experience is that much of what must be learned during “board review” is solely for the purpose of passing the exams and is not relevant to clinical practice. I am also particularly disturbed by the growing trend of requiring board certification, especially in echo and nuclear, to be credentialed. I believe there are better ways other than “secure exams” for clinicians to demonstrate their competence.

  8. In my area (New York City) much of the discussion is centered around the lost trust members have for the ABIM to get it right given perceived financial conflicts of interest and a complete inability to understand the practical needs of MOC. NOBODY I have talked to, either hospital based or private practices, believes in MOC as it currently exists; there is no doubt that overwhelming opinion is that the ACC move away from the ABIM and create a “MOC” program that makes sense for it’s members. ALL favor a simple 2-3 year CME requirement to maintain credentials.

  9. Having recently re certified in interventional cardiology, jumping through MOC and PIM hoops and taking the exam which in no way reflects physician adequacy in practice, I was amazed at the decision to require continuing in perpetuity these MOC/PIM activities. Particularly egregious is the decision to list “MOC compliant” on the public web site which effectively tries to reneg on the original contract of lifetime certification prior to 1990. This is a clear ploy to increase revenue. As nicely outlined in recent Newsweek article the ABIM is a corrupt and self-serving entity which has, in my mind, permanently lost it’s imprimatur to certify suitability for medical practice. I will have nothing further to do with ABIM. As a commitment to this I have joined the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. ACC members, supported by it’s leadership, should stand together to reject the antiquated and self serving ABIM by opting out.

  10. Board certification is a cottage industry profited entirely on the backs of physicians. This doesn’t include the ICAEL racket. How many 10s of thousands need to be extorted from me every 3 years before enough is enough.

  11. I will not recertify w ABIM . I favor ACC develope own certification process independently. For now I plan on joining Tiersteins organization Thank you for your efforts!

  12. Very glad to see ACC is acting as an advocate for members. The other focus is the reimbursement of cardiac care. The government is unreasonable cut down the reimbersement, neglecting the cost of trainings and professional knowledge. All these should not be let go or just give,instead I hope ACC can negotiate with a stronger leverage. Service costs. To achieve high quality care, higher cost is expected up-front, not afterwards. Thanks.

  13. Having already paid the MOC fee, working within ABIM would be good, unless they would refund. overall, I would rather see us develop our own board and say goodbye to ABIM, since they are out of touch with the needs of most sub-specialists.

  14. April 27, 2015
    I agree with the ACC and with the actions the organization has it has taken thus far.

    The American Board of Internal Medicine seems to have gotten carried away with its own power and needed to have its (unrealistic) requirements reined in.

    I would propose the ACC make an alternative certification exam if its members are not satisfied with the ABIM’s final decision about maintenance of certification.

    The ACC can poll its members. If the ACC is not in agreement with the final action of the ABIM, we should organize an alternative testing and certification procedure.

  15. The decision to be coordinated between two organizations .( ABIM. & ACC )
    It should be Time & Cost effective .
    Of course , the action to be useful in everyday ‘s practice to take care of the patient .
    Finally, is to be acceptable to the ACC members .

  16. I personally have had it with ABIM. I have joined another board certification program. I think ABIM’s abuse of it’s members is unacceptable, and I am seriously thinking of not re- certifying with them in the future. I think that passing board exam x 1, and having current CME requirements is plenty for certification.

  17. ACC should continue to take concrete steps such as listening to its members and understanding the current health care landscape. With falling reimbursements, AUC, quality of care based reimbursement on top of student loans and license fees, physicians and surgeons are being crushed in a costly system. The high fee structure of ABIM’s MOC is unacceptable and is designed for a shady agenda. The organization’s integrity and reputation has been lost. They continue to pick up the pieces but it is too late.

    ACC should build something separate from ABIM for meeting CME requirements. Carry on for you will find much support!

  18. This is a time consuming, redundant, unproven, and costly way to document competence. ACC should develop an alternative which allows flexibility in use of CME credit and documented work done in office/hospital to improve outcomes.

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