Tell the AMA, “No, I Am Not a Wingnut and MOC Must Go”

Well, I just got a message yesterday from the American Medical Association (AMA) about their agenda for the upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates, June 7-11 in Chicago, asking for feedback in the Member Forum in order to help shape AMA policy. I’m passing along my input with encouragement to other members to submit their comments as well. It turns out that my impression that the AMA would bypass the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) issue is wrong, because their notice indicates it’s on the agenda. The Council on Medical Education has the following recommendations:

The Council on Medical Education recommends that the following recommendations be adopted, and that the remainder of the report be filed.
1. That our American Medical Association Council on Medical Education continue to review published literature and emerging data as part of the Council’s ongoing efforts to critically review maintenance of certification (MOC), osteopathic continuous certification (OCC), and maintenance of licensure (MOL) issues. (Directive to Take Action)
2. That our AMA continue to explore with independent entities the feasibility of conducting a study to evaluate the impact that MOC requirements and the principles of MOL have on physicians’ practices, including, but not limited to physician workforce, physicians’ practice costs, patient outcomes, patient safety, and patient access. (Directive to Take Action)
3. That our AMA work with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the ABMS Member Boards to collect data on why physicians choose to maintain or discontinue their board certification. (Directive to Take Action)
4. That our AMA work with the ABMS and the Federation of State Medical Boards to study whether MOC and the principles of MOL are important factors in a physician’s decision to retire and have a direct impact on the US physician workforce. (Directive to Take Action)

So far, as of yesterday afternoon there were only two comments, mine and those of another worthy doctor who read my statements (see below) and was thankful for them, because it meant that he was “not a wingnut,” and “not a lone frustrated voice in the dark,” holding the opinion that the MOC processes are wasteful and expensive.

Not only do I urge you to read his priceless comments, I sincerely hope many doctors will express what they believe and how they feel about MOC and MOL. We need to send a solid message as a united group that MOC is not the best nor even a passably good example of a model for fulfilling the principle of lifelong learning.

“Re:CME 06 Update on Maintenance of Certification, Osteopathic Continuous Certification, and Maintenance of Licensure

posted at 5/9/2014 1:52 PM CDT

I just proposed a resolution to our state medical society which would support lifelong learning but oppose MOC, and it’s based on the one just adopted by the South Carolina Medical Association. It would specifically oppose mandatory maintenance of certification for licensure, hospital privileges and reimbursement from third-party payers. I sponsored the resolution to similarly oppose MOL in Iowa last spring. It was adopted unanimously and was co-sponsored by the Iowa Psychiatric Society.

I urge my colleagues to take direct action encouraging lifelong learning by opposing wasteful processes like MOC and MOL, to which thousands of physicians are opposed, judging from the petition to ABIM to recall recent changes to MOC.

I believe AMA should support physicians in this regard and adopt similar resolutions. If you want to learn more about the thinking of over 14,000 doctors as well as me, go to my blog site,

Personal opinion – James Amos

Sent to AMA 5/9/2014″

Every chance I get I share my opinions, not just my knowledge, with resident physicians and colleagues about issues like these. I did that yesterday as well. I warned a Family Medicine resident that if he thinks his life sucks now, just wait until he has to deal with MOC and, god forbid, MOL. When I tell them what participation means and how much money some board executives are making behind it (and I don’t have to exaggerate, just go to and see for yourselves) they all agree that this regulatory capture is worse than nonsense.

So if you’re a member of AMA (and I readily acknowledge that many physicians are not), sign in to the AMA Member Forum and if you don’t believe that MOC makes you a better doctor, tell them we want the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to stop doing this to us.

You are not a wingnut.




  1. Reblogged this on IP4PI – Independent Physicians for Patient independence and commented:
    MOC must go


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