Maintenance of Certification

October 28, 2007

"The commitment of quality is crucial," American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) President James A. Stockman III said, of its new initiative changing the way pediatricians recertify. "We can't trip over all the other certification bodies, which are all doing the same thing.

"The commitment of quality is crucial," American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) President James A.Stockman III said, of its new initiative changing the way pediatricians recertify. "We can't tripover all the other certification bodies, which are all doing the same thing."

All the physician boards, not just ABP's, are changing their recertification requirements.The days of receiving a license and then taking one test every few years are going away. Replacingthem is a focus on collecting and measuring performance data, revealing not only what a pediatricianknows, but how knowing that affects and betters her patients and practice.

Stockman revealed that all 50 states' and 19 territories' licensing boards came together toform a task force devoted to overhauling the maintenance of certification (MOC) process. The upcoming MOC tests, starting in twoyears' time, will work to better focus on results.

The MOC movement has six competencies that must be met. First is the medical license, ofcourse. Then comes a knowledge self-assessment, a decision skills self-assessment, the traditionalrecertification examination, collection of patient feedback, and finally practice performance.By collecting this information, new emphasis is placed on a section of medicine that has beensometimes seen as a necessary evil, or a bureaucratic hassle. With these new steps included,excellence of care will be more quantifiable.

The stark numbers of a recent study prove that such change is indeed needed. Only 54% ofadults received the recommended appropriate care. The numbers dip down lower for children, where only46% received the proper care. Stockman suggested visiting the ABP home page for moreinformation on recertification.