My Letter to Iowa Congressmen to Oppose MOL

I just sent the email letter below to my state congressmen about supporting lifelong learning and opposing Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) in Iowa. I’m urging other physicians who care about lifelong learning and high-quality patient care to consider writing similar letters to their state legislators.

Dear Iowa Senators and Representatives,

I’m a psychiatrist at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and I’d like to bring your attention to the controversial issue of Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) in Iowa.

Essentially MOL would tie obtaining and renewal of every physician’s medical license to Maintenance of Certification (MOC) or a similar process. MOC is a complex process promulgated by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the MOL is promoted by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

You can get basic background on this issue from my blog posts and from an article by Dr. Kenneth Christman, MD at the links below

Christman’s article contains a suggestion for state legislation to oppose MOL, which I invite you to consider supporting. There is no high level research supporting the contention of the ABMS and the FSMB that MOC processes or MOL change patient outcomes. In fact, many physicians believe that there are other motivations for boards to engage physicians in MOC and MOL, chiefly greed. You can find out more about this view by looking at tax forms of the boards at link

There are thousands of physicians who oppose MOC and MOL and one sign of this is the steadily growing number of signatures on the petition to oppose the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) changes to MOC,

I sponsored a resolution to support lifelong learning and oppose MOL in the spring of 2013, which was adopted by the Iowa Medical Society House of Delegates. This resolution was co-sponsored by the Iowa Psychiatric Society. There is a Physician Acceptability Survey regarding MOL ( ) that will be open until April 21, 2014. I’ve been urging physicians to oppose MOL by answering Question 31, which asks for our views about it. While Executive Director Mark Bowden tells me that it’s unlikely that IBM will adopt MOL, the continuing collaboration with the FSMB on the MOL implementation projects (including the survey) concerns me.

I think doctors in Iowa work very hard on behalf of their patients. Most of us support legislation that we think will benefit them, such as a law which could make cannabidiol available for treatment of intractable seizures, which has bicameral support.

Can we support similar legislative efforts to protect physicians from what many perceive as burdensome regulatory processes which do not ultimately protect patients?


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