So I just happened to be checking out Psych Practice blogger’s site and saw this announcement about the American Psychiatric Association (APA) letter to the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) recommending that the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part IV modules be dropped:
I want to thank Psych Practice blogger for posting it. I did not get a copy of this letter because I didn’t renew my APA membership this year, in large part in protest of the failure of APA to represent the membership’s interests in general and specifically on the issue of the controversial MOC. I did get a tweet message from someone yesterday about the letter but I didn’t believe it.
I agree with Dr. George Dawson’s comment. It’s too little, too late. And I doubt ABPN will listen. As I said yesterday (when this news was breaking, apparently), I believe we should support Dr. Paul Teirstein’s new grassroots movement–driven alternative board, the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. It makes more sense to send a strong message to APA and other large organizations (including the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and the American Medical Association) which purport to represent rank-and-file physicians that enough is enough and that a little competition doesn’t hurt anyone.
The kind of change that fosters the next wave in supporting the principle of lifelong learning will be driven by letting go of the old idea that we should trust and obey the boards which are now widely viewed as corrupt. That next wave will be about embracing the even older idea that professional and personal reflective learning comes from the inside out, not from the outside pressure of politically driven, greedy regulatory organizations picking the pockets of American doctors with exorbitant membership fees and MOC “products” such as the Focus Journal which tend to sharpen the “focus” on the conflicts of interest groups like the APA have.
I don’t believe we should crawl back to the APA because of this letter. We should stand up for our patients, our colleagues, and for our trainees, the next generation of doctors.