My Carlat Report Psychiatry Article on MOC and MOL–Good for MOC Credit

The May 2013 issue of The Carlat Report Psychiatry (TCPR) is out and it published my article “Maintenance of Certification and Maintenance of Licensure”. It’s both a straightforward educational piece for those who need to know more about what MOC and MOL are and what they mean for doctors, and it’s a piece in which I frankly share my opinions about them.

TCPR is available by subscription only, and you can find more information at Dr. Steve Balt, MD is the Editor-in-Chief and you can find his blog on my blog roll, Thought Broadcast | A Psychiatrist’s Thoughts – Straight To Your Head.

Steve Balt, MD, MS
Steve Balt, MD, MS

TCPR is unbiased and practical. You can get AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credit. It’s also an approved MOC product, Maintenance of Certification in Psychiatry Products including The Carlat Report Psychiatry.

What’s the TCPR verdict about MOC and MOL? “MOC and MOL have their weaknesses and challenges. However, psychiatrists need to understand MOC as it is currently designed, and to reflect on it, seek ways to improve it, reform it if necessary, and continue to look for practical ways to help health professionals provide safe patient care that is not only competent, but excellent”.

I confess I copied this issue of the TCPR and tacked it to the residents’ bulletin board. I wanted them to know I believe in the principle of MOC, which is continuous improvement in knowledge and clinical skill toward providing quality of care to patients.

So I can play both sides of this fence.

Somehow we’ve let regulators take over the responsibility of reminding physicians of this principle. At the departmental meeting reviewing the psychiatry residency program recently, residents and faculty were reminded of two things, which I paid special attention to: that the consultation service is still highly regarded as both a clinical teaching and service rotation…and that we all have to eventually learn to abide by the MOC.

My lip curled when I heard the latter, and I think the residents saw that because I could hear the hushed chuckling behind me. But I’m on record in the TCPR saying “both/and”. We do have to learn what the MOC is about… and stay focused on improving and reforming it.

We’ve wandered away from the principle of genuine continuous improvement. And we’re going to wander on back.

“…And we must build a culture of humanistic clinical excellence.”—Jamos the Elder
“…And we must build a culture of humanistic clinical excellence.”—Jamos the Elder

Author: Jim Amos

Dr. James J. Amos is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the UI Carver College of Medicine at The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Amos received a B. S. degree in Distributed Studies (Zoology, Chemistry, and Microbiology) in 1985 from Iowa State University and an M.D. from The University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa in 1992. He completed his psychiatry residency, including a year as Chief Resident, in 1996 at the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa. He has co-edited a practical book about consultation psychiatry with Dr. Robert G. Robinson entitled Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. As a clinician educator, among Dr. Amos’s most treasured achievements is the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.