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Message from ABP President regarding ABIM MOC announcement

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 12:30

The following statement comes from David G. Nichols, MD MBA, President and CEO of the American Board of Pediatrics:

The American Board of Pediatrics is well aware of the current debate throughout the medical community regarding the value of Maintenance of Certification (MOC). On Tuesday (Feb. 3, 2015), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) announced significant changes to its MOC requirements. While we are fellow members of the community of medical boards, ABIM and ABP serve different populations and have approached MOC differently.  The ABP is looking closely at ABIM’s changes and the reasons behind them.

The ABP’s MOC program is based on the belief that ongoing learning, assessment and quality improvement are integral to our mission of assuring parents that an ABP diplomate (certified pediatrician) possesses the competencies to care for their children. We have been working tirelessly with many of you to make all parts of MOC relevant and useful to pediatricians. Just as we ask diplomates to assess their practices and improve, I assure you that we have been doing the same with ABP’s MOC program.

We certainly agree that all boards must constantly look for ways to improve their processes and we defer to ABIM on the best ways for its board to accomplish that goal. It may help you to know that a number of issues that ABIM is trying to address do not apply to the ABP. For instance, ABIM has a 2-year MOC cycle, whereas ABP has a 5-year cycle. The ABP has long had a practice-oriented MOC exam with a 95 percent pass rate, as opposed to ABIM’s current MOC exam, which  closely resembles its initial certification exam and has a 78 percent pass rate. The now suspended ABIM Part 4 requirements included a patient satisfaction (“patient voice”) requirement. The ABP has never had such a requirement. Whereas ABIM is now seeking more input from professional societies, the ABP bylaws stipulate representation of all major pediatric societies on our board of directors. In consultation with pediatric subspecialty societies, the ABP froze initial certification fees for 2015 based on our concern about educational debt faced by young pediatricians.

The ABP is making no changes to the requirements for maintaining certification at this time.

However, we continuously assess our certification requirements, including examinations and MOC activities. Through our website, blog and social media, we will keep you abreast of any changes to current processes and policies for both initial certification and MOC. These communications provide opportunities for you to engage with us in a dialog to address our mutual commitment to the health care of children and youth.