Your Academy (AAPM&R) has been advocating for necessary changes in Maintenance of Certification® (MOC®) with both the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR).
The Academy has called for substantive changes to the current MOC requirements and process. Beyond the immediate need to address the current MOC program, the Academy has framed and advanced critical questions that need to be addressed regarding the future needs of certification in a dramatically changing healthcare environment—the future meaning and value of certification, the changing stakeholders and customers, and how to work together to assure physicians remain leaders in tomorrow's health care environment.
The Academy is focused both on an immediate resolve to the current situation as well as a long-term dialogue regarding future needs, and believes the MOC debate must be resolved internally within medicine and without government interference.
Click here to read the recently updated AAPM&R Position Statement regarding MOC.
AAPM&R supports the intent of certification, as it is rooted in our commitment to medical professionalism and self-regulation. The Academy believes that:
- Board certification should not be a criterion for medical licensing and should not be utilized as a sole criterion for credentialing and/or privileging. There are other critical factors that should be considered in the credentialing and privileging process.
- Some components of the current MOC process, while well-intentioned, place significant burdens on physicians without having been shown to achieve the desired objectives.
In 2015, AAPM&R called upon ABPMR to make immediate changes to MOC Parts III and IV. Additionally, the Academy released its position statement on MOC.
Since the original position statement was released, AAPM&R has been advocating publicly and directly with ABMS and ABPMR leadership to address physiatry’s concerns regarding MOC.
In 2018, the Academy testified at the ABMS-convened Vision for the Future Commission. AAPM&R advocated that true changes in certification and continuing certification must be forward thinking and based on an understanding of the future customers and stakeholders' needs.
In 2018, AAPM&R has held numerous meetings and phone calls with ABPMR leadership, voicing our concerns and our members’ frustrations.
In the Fall of 2019, ABPMR and AAPM&R met in Rosemont, IL and discussed the ongoing evolution of physician assessment in the future health care environment and the roles both organizations can serve to support physiatrists in their success. Additionally, AAPM&R discussed current frustration by some members regarding the transition to Longitudinal Assessment for PM&R (LA-PM&R) in an open and honest dialogue, reinforcing our position. While there was no firm resolution at this point in time, AAPM&R will continue to advocate for physiatrists in improving MOC.
In April 2021, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) released "Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments". ABMS is the governing organization that establishes the standards its 24 member Boards (including the American Board of Physical Medical and Rehabilitation) use to develop and implement educational and assessment programs used in certification. The Academy knows this is an issue of high importance to our members and we would encourage you to review this document and send any feedback directly to ABMS and/or ABPMR. The Academy will also be reviewing the document in detail and advocating for our members in accordance with the AAPMR Position Statement regarding MOC, which calls for a meaningful and relevant process that does not place an undue professional or financial burden on practicing physiatrists.
In July 2021, AAPM&R worked in collaboration with our peer specialty societies via the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) to create a unified and strong response submitted July 8 to the American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) call for comments regarding the Draft Standards for Continuing Certification. By working collaboratively with CMSS to create our comments, AAPM&R joins with 45-member specialty societies, and the estimated 800,000 U.S. physicians they represent to provide detailed feedback on the draft standards. And our message was clear, the draft standards do not meet our expectations for a more meaningful, less arduous and less costly process.
Immediately, AAPM&R has called on ABPMR to take immediate action to change the current structure of MOC:
- We urge ABPMR to immediately discontinue the high stakes and expensive Part III exam.
- We urge ABPMR to immediately suspend Part IV/PIP.
- We support the rapid implementation of a longitudinal formative assessment in lieu of Parts II, III, IV.
- Implementation of the revised structure must:
- be meaningful and demonstrate value for physiatrists.
- reduce the financial burden on all physiatrists.
- provide a path for those who are currently MOC Part III eligible to transition so they are not penalized.
AAPM&R acknowledges and appreciates the commitment of ABPMR's leadership to evolve MOC III, exemplified through the launch of LA-PM&R. Your Academy continues to express urgency of a full transition beyond the current pilot efforts in order to provide immediate relief for physiatrists.
Click here to read the full statement.