To MOC or not to MOC?


Readers respond to "Maintenance of Certification: Myths, facts, and FAQs" and raise questions about HIPAA compliance and SurveyMonkey.

To MOC or not to MOC?


Our readers had a lot to say about our Special Report, “Maintenance of Certification: Myths, facts, and FAQs,” published in the August 2014 issue. Some of you supported MOC, others had not-so-kind words to say about the program and about Contemporary Pediatrics for publishing this article. Some took exception to the fact that the author, Virginia Moyer, MD, MPH, is employed by the American Board of Pediatrics (a conflict of interest that has been noted online).

We thank you for the comments you sent via e-mail or posted online. We welcome the discussion, and we hope that you will keep the exchange of ideas going.

Let us know what you think about MOC, pro or con.

E-mail or go to to read what your peers have to say and to post your own comments.


I HAVE READ MANY ONLINE POSTS ABOUT MOC, and it seems that the vast majority of doctors find MOC a waste of time and money. I completed my MOC requirements and I have to agree.

We have had CMEs that [were] not only required, but a very good idea to keep up-to-date. Any good doctor would want to maintain his or her knowledge and skills and thus competency.

MOC seems to be only busy work and costly, in time and money better spent doing good CME. I find it interesting that those who run the MOC and the Boards are the ones trying to "sell it" to the rest of us.

Also, most of the board members got themselves grandfathered in. The rest of us seem to have no choice-do MOC or not be board certified-not much of an option!

 How did we all lose control of our profession?


Texas Children’s Pediatrics

Sugar Land, Texas



I READ DR. VIRGINIA MOYER'S ARTICLE DEFENDING MOC requirements in response to several objections and critics that she has recently faced. The most important thing that many pediatricians are angry and frustrated about is that these requirements are putting too much of a burden on practicing pediatricians who do not have enough time to meet these requirements.

Second, [the American Board of Pediatrics (APB) is] trying to treat us like students [by making] us attend a secure [center] to take the exam every 10 years. It is so ridiculous.

Imagine a 60- or 70-year-old pediatrician after 20 to 30 years of practice [having] to attend a secure exam [center] and answer all the questions in a limited allowed time.

I am surprised that Dr. Moyer does not understand this stressful situation that she and her colleagues have created. They can do [the testing] through an open Internet system rather than in a secure exam center.

The recertification process should be updating, not testing. If the ABP continues these ridiculous requirements, they are going to lose more pediatricians every year.

I am one of the pediatricians who definitely will retire sooner than I should if the ABP continues to emphasize this secure board exam every 10 years.


Whitesburg ARH Hospital

Whitesburg, Kentucky


Dr. Moyer responds:

Many thanks to the readers who offered comments on Maintenance of Certification. While some criticize the process, many have let us know that they find it valuable.

The intent of MOC, and the mission of the ABP, is to assure the public that a certified physician, who has demonstrated competence during training and passed a rigorous examination of medical knowledge before entering practice, has continued to maintain and expand that knowledge, and has made efforts to improve the quality of care that she or he delivers.

Please note, every pediatrician (whether or not permanently certified) on our staff, boards, committees, and subboards is required to be maintaining certification, including me-I still have 5 points to earn before this year's deadline.

Interested pediatricians are encouraged to look at the new “nominations” feature on our website and consider getting involved in our committees and subboards. The Board encourages a positive dialogue as we work to improve the process for all of us.

Use caution with patient surveys

Re: “Renovating your medical home,” July 2014: I would be cautious about using SurveyMonkey or Google Docs to take patient surveys and gather feedback. Many of these free tools are not HIPAA compliant and there is the possibility that [personal health information] could be exchanged in the process.

This comment is not to take away from anything else [Andrew J. Schuman, MD] covered in the article. I really think [he] did a great job discussing the medical home model and the [Affordable Care Act] in peds practices. Thanks.


Medical practice appraiser and broker

Seal Beach, California


Dr. Schuman responds:

SurveyMonkey does, in fact, have HIPAA-compliant survey accounts available. For further information, please visit HIPAA Compliance and SurveyMonkey at

I would recommend contacting SurveyMonkey if there is any question whether a HIPAA-enabled account is recommended for the questions you intend to pose to your patient's parents.

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