Lawsuit Against MOC Filed in Federal Court

I just heard from Dr. Steve Balt, MD, MS, ABAM, my friend, fellow blogger, and Editor-In-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report (, that the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons filed a lawsuit today in federal court against the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) regarding Maintenance of Certification (MOC), see link AAPS Takes MOC to Court.

Not long before I got Steve’s message, I had been looking over an email from a colleague about how difficult he was finding it to get copies of his peer reviews from colleagues in order to satisfy the peer feedback requirement for MOC by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN).

I can sympathize. It’s a lot like trying to get people to complete surveys, polls, or to sign petitions opposing Maintenance of Licensure (MOL), the poor relation to MOC.

It’s a little hard to feel good about the lawsuit, lawsuits being what they are–bitterly fought battles in court costing a lot of money and time, rather like the MOC and MOL, come to think of it. If only the ABMS hadn’t provoked doctors so much by forcing these empty processes where they are not needed or wanted.

Physicians nowadays talk of giving up their certification status, even giving up practicing medicine. A colleague told me he has to use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the complicated busy work he has to do for MOC.

Can patients really want that and is the ABMS telling us the truth that this MOC is all about patient safety? Do patients believe that? Are they even aware this struggle is happening, purportedly on their behalf?

I’m going to be pretty disappointed if all of this turns out to be about greed and lies. We’re better than that.