Iowa Medical Society to Launch PRS 14-02 on MOC in Iowa: Teach the Policy Forum Well

Comply and OpposeThis is a reminder for Iowans and whoever else is interested in the debate on the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) issue.  I’ve submitted one of the first ever Iowa Medical Society (IMS) Policy Request Statements (PRS) to the IMS Policy Forum to champion the principle of lifelong learning and oppose MOC as a vehicle to embody the principle.

The name of my PRS is PRS 14-02 and it’s modeled after similar resolutions adopted in other states such as South Carolina and Florida.

Because Iowa physicians are committed to lifelong learning, I’ve added language to PRS 14-02 to reflect that. It was formally submitted to the Policy Forum on August 11, 2014. On August 22, 2014, Phase II, the Testimony Forum, begins with the publishing of PRS 14-02 to the IMS Forum. In between now and then, an IMS staff attorney will conduct background research into the issue. The process is outlined here.

I don’t yet know whether I’ll have time in my schedule to attend the Policy Forum in person in the afternoon of September 25, 2014 to give spoken testimony. I’ll probably be running the general hospital psychiatry consult service alone because, as I usually do, I let the trainees go to class to learn through didactics what I can’t teach them on the run clinically. But I’ve pretty much plastered the IMS LinkedIn site from corner to corner with my written opinions on the matter.

I would like all Americans, not just Iowans, to know that Iowa physicians believe we need a practical, systematic approach to lifelong learning which entails self-reflection and comparison of our practices to relevant high-quality patient care standards in the medical literature established by high-level research–and which is not currently a feature of MOC.

I’m doing this because, as a teacher of the next generation of doctors, I believe I should stand as a role model for what may have been someone’s idea, at one time, of what MOC ought to reflect–the importance of consistently doing the right thing for our patients.

I’m getting older and the closer I get to retirement, the more my vision of what that might mean for me tends to resemble what it means for doctors like Dr. Robert McCallister, MD, PhD, whose Viewpoints article, “Retirement: A Road Last Traveled,” was published in the August 1, 2014 issue of Psychiatric News. “The stark truth: clocks tick to the same rhythm all over the world, but the music of life is not legato…”

“Finally we learn what we always wanted our patients to understand. You remember the words, “Things can change and do change, you know. And there will be an end to this particular struggle you’re having.”


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.

One thought on “Iowa Medical Society to Launch PRS 14-02 on MOC in Iowa: Teach the Policy Forum Well”

  1. The ABIM Recertification program and sale of MOC Modules is purely a money making scam.

    It dos not improve the quality of care delivered to patients by internists.

    CME hours in Primary Care related Topics, Issues of Cost saving will be better options; and keeping patients’ best interests as number one priority, and not becoming pawns of the pharmaceutical industry will help the system.


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