FORT WORTH, TX -- In more than 20 years of pediatric practice, Dr. Zeda Amaya has seen a lot of changes. For example, new vaccinations have dramatically decreased the number of meningitis cases she sees. She’s getting accustomed to electronic medical records that allow her immediate access to lab reports and discharge summaries, instead of waiting for a nurse to pull the files.
She also sees many more patients with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) today than in the past.
“I don’t know what’s causing the increase,” she said, “but I’m certainly seeing more cases.”
The Performance Improvement Modules (PIMs) offered by the American Board of Pediatrics as part of the Maintenance of Certification activities (MOC) have been useful in improving the quality of care she’s able to give her patients, Dr. Amaya said.
“The initial ADHD PIM was helpful in that it confirmed for me that I was closely following the latest guidelines – getting input from parents and teachers, using my own observations in the office,” she said.
The second activity was even more useful, she said.
“The ADHD Follow up PIM gave me tools that really helped document changes in my patients’ symptoms. I could compare the original and the follow up observations – especially by parents and teachers – to see how much difference the treatment was making.”
The ABP’s MOC requirements are, “at first – oh my! -- very daunting,” she said. “Trying to figure out what to do and where to start! But once you get going, you pretty quickly chip away at your requirements. It provides an opportunity for us as professionals to make sure we are taking advantage of the newest standards of care. It’s a way of measuring for ourselves whether we’re keeping up” with best medical practices.
The MOC examination required every 10 years was “nerve racking” when she first took it, Dr. Amaya said. “But actually, I realized that most of the questions were about things I deal with in my practice, so it wasn’t as hard as I had feared.”
“The best part was that it affirmed for me that I’m on top of the latest medical advances.”