Red Pants Revolution for Lifelong Learning Reminder

Dr. Amos Red Pants RevolutionSo my wife says to me this morning, “You should wear your red pants today!” So I did, as a reminder of the Red Pants Revolution for Lifelong Learning, which you might have forgotten since my last few posts about it.

The whole Red Pants Revolution thing got started last year as my reaction to the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) controversy and my opinion that physicians and other health professionals can probably come up with more creative and effective ways on our own to stay up to date on our core competencies which include medical knowledge, patient care, professionalism, interpersonal skills and communication, systems-based practice, and practice-based improvement.

For example, nearly every day I have to check the medical literature to ensure I’m offering the latest evidence-based care as a hospital-based psychiatric consultant. As part of the effort, the Psychosomatic Medicine service has a regular case conference geared to promote a culture of lifelong learning, the Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP), for which medical students and residents make frequent, outstanding contributions, readily available for free on this blog site.

I have to participate in the MOC. Unlike what the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) claims, MOC is really not a voluntary program because it’s been embedded in the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicate and Medicaid Services (CMS) incentive payment and penalties structure, hospital privileging, credentialing, and more.

On the other hand, I enjoy participating in the CPCP. I wonder if patients would rather doctors be required to do something we hate, which wastes our time, and which is not relevant to our practice–or would they rather we choose to change from the inside out, and voluntarily engage in truly reflective self-improvement?

Don’t even ask me about Maintenance of Licensure (MOL). Instead, go to my petition to support lifelong learning and oppose MOL in Iowa at link We’re halfway to the 100 signature mark–don’t quit now!

By the way, there were only 8 respondents to the survey “Reform or Remove MOC, see link

Because there were so few responses, I didn’t think it was worthwhile reporting the results to the Iowa Board of Medicine. However, I’d like to point out that all eight of the respondents thought MOC as a vehicle for lifelong learning should be abandoned. No respondent thought the Performance in Practice (PIP) patient and peer feedback reviews were valuable components. Seven of them thought the PIP clinical activities for practice improvement were not valuable. No one thought the selection of these activities were adequate. Finally, only one respondent thought a PIP clinical activity for delirium would be valuable. See the original post containing the survey as well.

You can find a much larger survey on the Change Board Recertification web site where about 94% of physicians voted to abolish the current MOC system altogether. The position is clear:

We need to act collectively, and believe the time to act was yesterday. The number-one disease afflicting physicians is apathy and it’s the main reason our profession is trouble.


Our goals remain clear:

1. MOC should not be associated with hospital privileges.

2. MOC should not be associated with insurance reimbursements or network participation.

3. MOC should not be required for Maintenance of Licensure.

4. MOC should not be mandatory.

5. All Board certificates must be converted to lifetime status; only then will MOC be voluntary.

Frankly, while I agree with the goals, I’m not confident they will be achieved–except for the third, “MOC should not be required for Maintenance of Licensure.” There’s no reason on earth why MOC should be tied to medical licensure.

That said, I’m in compliance with MOC despite my opinion that it wastes my time. I pledge to continue to support lifelong learning. Please consider joining our LinkedIn journal club, Psychiatry Online Lifelong Learning  (POLL).

I just know someone might wonder about the little white stuffed bear on the bookshelf behind me in the picture. A couple of medical students asked me about it yesterday. See this post. Innovative, energetic,and dedicated physicians like Dr. Galynker don’t have time for obstacles like the MOC.

If you want to know more about the evolution of the revolution and how red pants got involved, just type in “red pants” in the search box.

Have you considered adding red pants to your wardrobe yet? All it takes to get in the groove is a pair of red pants–and working together.

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