Maintenance of Certification (MOC) has become a progressively contentious and controversial topic in the world of medicine. While verification of continued learning is a time honored tradition, the current process specifically in orthopaedics, and more broadly in the house of medicine, has become needlessly onerous, investigatory, and expensive in both time and treasure, but has never been proven to correlate to improved patient care.
The American Board of Internal Medicine had a recent and significant internal upheaval which resulted in a suspension of the current MOC process and creation of a new path of maintenance of certification, the Board of Physicians and Surgeons.
Within the last two years, three MOC related Advisory Opinions were passed by the AAOS Board of Councilors. They include: 1. A request to apply rigorous testing to determine if the current MOC process is scientifically valid, 2. To eliminate the overly investigatory, onerous, and expensive components of the current process, focusing instead on continuing medical education and self-assessment, and finally, 3. A request to have AAOS create an alternate pathway for maintenance of competency/certification. While Advisory Opinions do not carry the full weight of Resolutions, they do go directly to the AAOS Board for consideration.
Basil Besh, MD
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