Diplomates of the ABA were encouraged and incentivized to take the $2,100 exam early in the three-year eligibility window.
The exam was only offered twice a year. There were testing dates during a few weeks in the summer or a few weeks in the winter. You could take the exam up to three times to pass and maintain Board Certification.
In other words, if you fail, you could take it six months later, and if you fail again, you get one more shot. Waiting until the last opportunity would take away your ability to retake the exam before initial Board Certification could expire.
Like A Dutiful Diplomate, I Signed Up for the MOC Exam.
I really didn’t feel much like studying in the spring and summer for the exam, so I passed on my first opportunity, signing up for the winter window.
I didn’t feel much like studying for this test at all, but I knew that I had better put the time in. Just like I’d rather work a bit longer and retire with more money than I think I’ll need, I’d rather go into an exam with more knowledge than required.
I also felt a need to study because the vast majority of the material on the exam had little relevance to my actual job. The exam covered all topics that an anesthesiologist might encounter, such as chronic pain (which I don’t manage), open heart surgery (which I haven’t seen in years), and brain surgery (don’t see that, either).
There were esoteric facts to memorize, and memorize I did. You know the age-old question of the trains traveling towards each other at different rates of speed? We have questions like that, only they come in the form of a gas in an E cylinder that is partially full and flowing at X liters per minute. To answer correctly, you need to commit to memory the volumes of full tanks of various gases, and whether or not they are stored in liquid or gaseous form.
For a couple months, I studied when I could. I took advantage of down time at work in the afternoons and evenings, and took myself to the library on many days off.
Uncoincidentally, the aggravation of studying for a really expensive and largely irrelevant exam led me to explore the possibility of retiring before having to take the dumb test again, a story I told in the aptly titled Inception.
I would be taking the exam in the second of six opportunities. As much as I wasn’t planning to fail, failure was a viable but expensive option since I’d have four more testing windows in which to retake the test.
Taking the test early seemed prudent.
About a month after the exam, I received wonderful news via mail. I passed!
I overstudied, but as a “bread and butter” anesthesiologist who hasn’t seen a teaching institution in years (except for the time I spent $1,500 for a day in the simulation center to meet additional MOCA requirements), I thought it was best to study up rather than take my chances.
This was the last of my MOCA requirements for the initial ten-year period. According to the letter accompanying the score report, “Upon successful completion of all MOCA requirements, you will be issued a certificate that will be valid for 10 years from the date of issuance.”
Two months after receiving that letter, I received more news. A MOCA redesign that the ABA had beta tested the prior year was to be implemented for all. The exam that I just passed was replaced with MOCA 2.0.
Thousands of fellow diplomates who certified the year I did or the year before who had not yet spent the $2,100 were now excused from having to take the exam.
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Wait… wait. What?!?
That’s right. Doing the responsible thing, the thing that the ABA encouraged, turned out to be a huge waste of time and money.
I’m not so naive to believe that decision was made casually or abruptly. In other words, when I took the exam in January, the Board had to have known that changes were coming, but had not been finalized, or at least not announced. They gladly took my money and time, anyway. One last money grab before the next one.
The next money grab? Yes, I was told I would also be enrolled in the new computerized MOCA 2.0 program, and expected to pay $210 a year for it. There would be no “grandfathering in.” I would essentially receive no credit for the exam I took and of course, there was no getting back all the time I put into studying for and taking the exam.
I called the ABA and expressed my extreme displeasure. Others did, too. Eventually, the ABA actually backpedaled a bit and decided I wouldn’t be charged for MOCA 2.0 for ten years since we had just paid the equivalent of ten years worth of the program to take the exam. I would still be required to enroll in the program, and answer quiz questions on a quarterly basis.
That $2,100 test, by the way, was a 200 question multiple choice exam that took me 100 minutes to complete. That’s $1,260 per hour for those keeping score at home. I traveled five hours roundtrip to a computerized testing station to take it, too, as there were no computers offering the test any closer to my home.
I strongly considered ignoring MOCA 2.0, and, as I’m planning to leave my job and possibly my anesthesia career in the summer of 2019, anyway. However, I feared I might be listed as “not participating in MOC” by the ABA and I don’t know the ramifications of such a designation with regards to credentialing and insurance reimbursements to my hospital.
Rather than risk a kerfluffle that could cause problems for my colleagues (if I were suddenly unable to work as a result), I registered for MOCA 2.0 late in 2018 and did my four quarters worth of questions over 4 days in the 4th quarter.It seemed pointless, but relatively painless.
The Problem With Maintenance of Certification
Before MOC was born, we physicians were already required to do Continuing Medical Education, subject to peer review, and many of us maintain many other time-limited certifications, such as ACLS, BLS, and PALS.
On the pages of KevinMD, you’ll find recent takes from anesthesiologist Karen Sibert, MD, who wrote The Real Dangers of Maintenance of Certification and What to Do About It. And from family doctor Linda Girgis, MD, If You are Not Opposed to MOC, the Time Is Now.this post on KevinMD, and a number of other sordid tales at Rebel.MD.
It’s not that we’re not interested in keeping up our knowledge and skills, it’s just that MOC has not been shown to be an effective way to maintain skills or improve patient care. However, it has been shown to be a costly burden in terms of both time and money.
Speaking of money, a handful of physicians and journalists have been following the MOC money trail, and have uncovered some jarring facts and figures.
Kurt Eichenwald wrote the following eye-opening series in 2015 that I would strongly encourage you to read, whether you are a physician or one of our patients.
- The Ugly Civil War in Medicine
- A Certified Medical Controversy
- Medical Mystery: Making Sense of ABIM’s Financial Report
- To the Barricades! The Doctors’ Revolt Against ABIM is Succeeding!
Another gentleman who has championed exposing and undoing the MOC debacle is Dr. Westby Fisher, an electrophysiologist and cardiologist who writes frequently on the topic at Dr. Wes. A good place to start getting caught up are his annual recaps, along with the comments underneath.
- The Maintenance of Certification Controversy 2015: The Year in Review
- ABMS/ABIM MOC Controversy: 2016 Year-in-Review
- ABMS/ABIM MOC Controversy: 2017 Year-in-Review
- The Maintenance of Certification Controversy 2018: The Year in Review
- A post specific to anesthesia: Nickel and Dimed
- Video of Dr. Wes: Take Twenty-two Minutes to Learn About the ABIM
- Finally, PPA Requests Congressional Hearing, IRS Investigation of MOC Program complete with video.
It’s not that we’re not interested in keeping up our knowledge and skills, it’s just that MOC has not been shown to be an effective way to maintain skills or improve patient care.
Do I feel slighted? Yes, but I am far from alone. Dozens of doctors have been sharing their MOC stories, and tens of thousands of others feel slighted, too. The number of physicians currently being subjected to unproven costly MOC requirement likely measures in the hundreds of thousands.
I can’t reclaim the time I’ve spent on MOC, but I am encouraged by the pushback, the resolutions from state and national societies, and the bravery of the physicians who are challenging the status quo.
Are you finding the burdens of maintaining certification to be onerous? Have you been subjected to double jeopardy or shifting requirements like my anesthesia colleagues and me? Let us know below!
65 thoughts on “My MOC Debacle: Nevermind That $2,100 Exam You Just Passed”
Great article! One of the more infuriating parts of this whole equation is the decision to grandfather anesthesiologists who were board-certified before 2000 from all MOC requirements. I want to know how exactly that decision was made. I wonder when the key players making that decision were board-certified? I don’t know the answer but my gut tells me they are probably well-versed on the ins-and-outs of halothane-induced hepatitis and think Precedex is a rock band from the ‘80s.
It would be very interesting to see the money trail. To your knowledge, has anyone ever looked into that regarding the ABA?
The ABIM has been exposed by people like journalist Kurt Eichenwald and Dr. Westby Fisher. I don’t believe the ABA has been accused of the same level of corruption, but the ABA is a defendant in an antitrust suit based on this MOC nonsense.
Contract law. Those of us with permanent/lifetime certificates effectively entered into a contract with the ABA presuming a permanent certification without expiration loopholes. Maintaining lifetime certificates has avoided a costly and unwinnable class action lawsuit.
(They had a lot of legal advice on this one, BTW, when MOCA was being schemed)
It’s so cute to see all the objections here. Let’s go through them:
1. Having to learn about things that don’t directly relate to your day to day job. Gee, you just should know what it takes to simply do your job every day. Like a CRNA. So you should be paid like one. Come work for us, we’d love to pay you that salary.
2. It’s a money grab. Hmm. Check out the ‘salaries’ of the ABA Board members. All volunteer. Now, Internal Medicine…now THAT’S a money grab. $500k a year to ‘oversee’ a board.
3. MOCA doesn’t mean anything. Hmmm. How about the anesthesiologist who oversaw Joan Rivers’ death? Board Certified with lifetime cert…never signed up for MOCA. You’ll be in good company if you go that route, eh?
Think public perception. Think of being a professional and not a ‘guild worker’. Just try to think.
Your comment landed in the Spam box and I probably should have left it there, but I don’t want to be seen as censoring differing opinions.
I’m not sure where to begin to address the mud you’ve flung, but comparing a board-certified anesthesiologist to a CRNA because he doesn’t care to relearn the intricacies of the bubble oxygenator versus membrane oxygenator (when he will never go near a heart room again) is an insult to anesthesiologists everywhere.
We can disagree on whether or not the ABA’s process is a money grab, but they did try to charge me the $210 a year immediately after I paid $2,100 to supposedly be good for ten years. Only after a bunch of us called them out on how crooked that attempted money grab was, did they relinquish. I agree with Dr. Westby Fisher on this one.
The anecdote about Joan Rivers’ death? That’s an n of 1. Some lifetime certified docs are great; some are not. The same is true of new grads enrolled in MOCA.
He’s just frustrated. Lighten up will you.
Should have left it alone if you did not like it.
No more comments now and I was going to post on the new
draft commission report December 11, 2018.
Curious if you saw the ABA email about your data being safe. Did you know what happened? Obviously, the ABA kept it vague. Basically, your ABA progress reports with CME record keeping and moca minute questions are public links. They are not password protected. If someone knows the URL, they can access these pages answer your questions and delete your CME records. Multiple URL’s were easily accessible on a public search engine. Search engine links have since been deactivated. However, your profile and mocaminute questions are still public links so if you share them, someone can answer your questions.
I did see that. How pathetic.
Supposedly, it’s been fixed, but how could such a careless error be made in the first place?
I was initially certified in 2008, am up for re-cert this year. Spent at least 25 hours already online looking at pros/cons and controversies of MOC and I am already aggravated by those lost hours. I have decided not to do my first “voluntary” MOC “Maintanence of Cash” and support the mob.
Certification Matters (major propaganda run by ABMS! my medical expertise has nothing to do with my certification nor vice versa)
ABMS (the parent of the MOC racket in medicine)
NBPAS (my solution)
I have been in Medicine since 1977.
I have decided not to MOC or recertification which is due in 2019.
I am in a teaching job and I know I will loose this job.
If I cannot work in this country, I will go to some other country take care of their sick.
I wonder whose loss is it??
Humm . . . don’t get me started. Oh well, it’s too late.
The stated purpose of the medical boards is to look after the safety of the public. Never mind that there is NO EVIDENCE that our high fees and and an occasional test on minutia accomplishes this. Moreover, there are “older” physicians that are grandfathered into old rules that don’t require MOC–duh . . . aren’t these the most likely to need maintenence? Also, PAs and CNPs don’t have to do this and yet they are allowed to do many of the same things.
We all learn how important it is to practice “evidence-based medicine” and yet we all are forced to march along to this mock certification.
For radiologist (and I assume for others) you have 4 parts:
1. Prove a current state licence
3. PQI project (quality improvement)
If you look at it, this is all redundant. I just went through re-credentialing at my institution. My institution already requires me to be licenced in the state. My state AND my institution already require CME. We are always improving our processes to be more efficient and improve patient care–this is called market forces. The CME I do already has questions and assessments (CME-SA). I just don’t see any added value of any of the American Board of Radiology. It’s a sham “seal of approval” that we all know has little to no effect on making us better/safer physicians.
It is VERY clear that they exist in order to perpetuate themselves. Hospitals use this as a way to check a box that their providers are “board certified.” This is just some sort of messed up “shared delusion” between the ABMS and the institution that this means anything. But the public doesn’t know any better, and the charade goes on.
So true. We have a CME program in anesthesia called ACE. As far as I know, it’s quite similar to MOCA 2.0. You answer quiz questions and read full page explanations of the answers. I was doing that for ten years before the latest requirement came along.
And of course we’re improving quality. If not for market forces, for our own sense of obligation to our patients. I read, I learn, and I implement the best practices. That’s part of being a physician.
thanks for this post POF. let’s be honest, we all know all of the various guises of MOC are nothing but money grabs. our various organizations have done a great PR move though by selling them as a way to ensure patient safety.
i’m glad the ABA at least did the right(ish) thing by not requiring you to pay 2x for MOCA. download the MOCA minute app and do a few questions a week. super easy and relatively painless.
sorry you wasted all that time studying for the test though!
Yeah, I’m not super excited about MOCA 2.0, but I’m supposed to enroll next year. The easiest thing to do is comply; but if anyone is in a good position to rebel and see what happens, it’s me.
We’ll see when the time comes.
Sounds like you might be ripe for some Institute of Justice videos regarding professional certification and regulation. They probably wouldn’t touch doctors with a ten foot pole, but you can donate so they can fight the good fight so that hair braiders don’t have to go through their version of the same thing. It’s extortion and it’s wrong.
Can you provide the details of how you convinced them to pay your fees even though you still have to do the MOCA ?s . I spent a half hour on the phone having explained that I just spent all this money passing the test in 2016 and now I have to pay more every year and that I think it is unfair. Further if you complain it goes to the MOCA dept!
I did what you did — I called and raised a fuss right after they announced MOCA 2.0. Eventually, I received notice that I wouldn’t be charged the $210 for 10 years. I’ll look for the e-mail and forward to you. I thought the test wasn’t given after I took it in 2015, but I haven’t been paying that much attention.
Wow, really good read and I have a question. I’ve always loathed the hypocrisy of pushing MOCA as a patient safety issue and exempting half the anesthesiologists. And I just realized I did something like what you did. I paid $1850 in 2013 for recertification to ABA. I was told that $1,850 was for my certification from 2003-2013, not for 2013-2023. I told them that they are wrong as I paid for 2003-2013 back in 2002.
I think the ABA is scamming me. Your $2100 fee in 2015 was for the period going forward, correct?
Initially, when MOCA 2.0 was announced weeks after I learned I passed “MOCA 1.0” and thought I was good for 10 years, I was told I’d be paying $210 a year.
After a flood of calls, e-mails, and letters, the ABA relented and decided the $2,100 I paid for the exam would pay for ten years of MOCA 2.0. I wasn’t excused from participating, though, and I’m now at the point where I need to enroll if I want to avoid the “Not participating in MOC” designation.
Join the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons: nbpas.org
It is an alternative board, founded for precisely the reasons you eloquently expound. Currently, few hospitals recognize NBPAS. If a torrent of physicians stop subsidizing MOCA fat cats, and join the new competitive board, hospitals will be swept along.
I may lobby my hospital to accept it. I might also see if my certificate is truly good for ten years by not enrolling in MOCA 2.0. I don’t want to jeopardize my partners, though, if taking a stand would interfere with credentialing or insurance. It’s very frustrating.
I wouldn’t mind paying the fees if I found I actually gained something from the process. For my board, we have to pay a yearly fee, pay another fee to take some bogus self assessments (read an article and answer questions that I already knew the answers to, but have to pay to demonstrate this), do a PI project (this can be done for free but they make it a lot simpler if you pay them for it), and pay for the exam every 10 years. It’s ridiculous. I get much more out of surfing pubmed for free than I do out of the board’s expensive, canned MOC materials. I will be FI by the time my first recert comes around, but I like my job so am playing along for now.
This is a problem that is perpetuating throughout many of the medical specialties, where the guidelines for recertification keep changing. My specialty has changed its policies several times over the past few years, with each decision involving its doctors paying a certain amount of money each year.
The AMA also doesn’t have the power to set guidelines for MOC either!
I really think the boards have shown they exist merely to perpetuate themselves. JCAHO anyone?
I have a lifetime certification, but I also did the 10 year voluntary recertification. It seemed like a good idea at the time and I was curious to see how hard the recert exam was. Turns out it wasn’t that hard.
My plan had been to do one more voluntary recert. That would get me to 62y/o and retired or nearly so. With MOCA 2.0, it’s just too much money, too much effort, and mostly just too much pain in the ass. I’m done jumping through all the silly hoops. In the immortal words of Roger Murtaugh, “I’m getting too old for this s*!t.”
I hear you loud and clear, Michael. We do plenty of self-educating, CME, and have enough hoops to jump through without MOCA 2.0.
Love the Lethal Weapon quote — I’ve used it in a previous post.
Aw, crap! I inadvertently plagiarized you! Apologies.
I read that post when you first released it. I’m trying very hard NOT to retire from competitive running. You don’t have to get faster; just outlive the competition!
You are in the majority opinion on this. I’m a bit of a contrarian I guess. Although I acknowledge the fees are high, they are minuscule compared to the incomes we get. Unfortunately medical knowledge rapidly declines from the moment we leave training. Even though I love learning there is nothing like a forced exam to get me studying. Are you really that much worse off? So you learned some things that you may not use on the job tomorrow. Some of it may be helpful. I know I have used information that I learned studying for a recert exam that I didn’t think applied to me. I’m not expecting to change your view or anyone else’s. Just pointing out that I like the structure and forced exams. I know. I’m weird! LOL
Agree to disagree, I guess. I subscribe to both the Anesthesia journal, and Anesthesia & Analgesia. I read articles of interest monthly. I read the “throw-away” trade magazines, and get e-mail updates on advancements in my field. I read the APSF monthly, attend conferences twice most years, and participate in the ACE program for additional CME.
MOCA does nothing for me. I learn all I need to know and then some on my own out of an obligation to myself and my patients.
Thank you Physician On Fire for your take on this situation. I would have been livid if I paid $2,100, took an exam and then told that I had to pay and comply to a new system. However, I think the changes the ABA made are in a positive direction. As I’m sure you know, we pay $210/year and receive 30 questions each quarter electronically. We have 1 minute to complete a question and receive the answer immediately and we can answer as many questions we want in a sitting. In addition, if you miss a question, they will repeat the question in the future. There is great evidence that this form of “testing” is more effective for adult learning and I commend the ABA for making this change that is likely more cumbersome than the old system. Also, they have made the other requirements less onerous, such as loosening the requirements of simulation, etc. So, although I do have sympathy for your situation, I am an advocate of the recent changes the ABA has made.
I agree that the change is a welcome one, but I also feel MOCA is a redundant, unnecessary burden. It’s particularly frustrating to have complied with everything that was asked under the old requirements, and also subjected to the new ones. I do the ACE questions — that’s 100 questions answered and 100 full page explanations read twice a year. I don’t need MOCA 2.0 or 3.0, or whatever they add next.
Not everyone is raking in the cash. Try maintaining your license and certification through difficult times (like a health crisis).
Wow, that sucks! Man would I be pissed. I’m a CPA. Our continuing educations requirements thankfully don’t require any further testing, just attending training sessions for credit. I would be pissed if I spent a bunch of money and time on CPE courses only to find one t they no longer matter.
We are required to complete continuing medical education (CME) credits to maintain state licensure (requirements vary by state so if you are licensed in multiple states it can get complex) as well as having specific additional CME requirements and testing for maintenance of board certification. Much $$ goes to CME courses, MOC enrollment, travel for courses and testing & of course, state licensing renewal every 1-2 years, depending on the state (state license fees vary from ~$300 to near ~$1,000). Dues for any medical society membership add more hundreds of dollars per year. Being a doc ain’t cheap!
My hospital fired a physician for not to get the recertication license in time. At the same time NP/PAs are allowed to work without need to take any test or re-certification. The NP is now doing the job for the physician who got fired. The irony.
Wow. That pretty much defines asinine in my book.
OMG, how galling!
I’ve waited 6 years from the time I completed my IM residency to even bother taking and passing the ABIM. Once I pass later this year (or next year if I’m not successful this year), I’m good for 10 years and by then I’ll be financially independent and will be able to afford to work part time somewhere that doesn’t care about the boards. That’s my plan. 16 or 17 years of being BE/BC and then I’m good to go:) No MOC, I refuse to participate.
That’s brilliant, Jason!
Most job postings I see require you to be Board Certified or eligible (within 5 or 7 years of residency). Waiting to the last minute to obtain initial certification can be a winning strategy, as long as you’re confident in your ability to pass.
My (still infantile) industry (software) has no certification requirements (spends a moment gloating, decides to stop just short of becoming obnoxious). Though I suppose the whole interview process every time you job hop is one way of making sure you still ‘know all the answers’. At least it is free. I’m sorry you are being subjected to what sounds like the moral equivalent of paying protection money.
That’s a great way of framing it: it is “white coat” protection money!
Nooooooooooo. Oh damn, that really freakin’ sucks. At least the ABA had the decency not to charge you for ten years to make up for the cost. That is ludicrous. No wonder so many doctors are frustrated and stressed. Good grief.
I can definitely empathize. I’m no doctor, but I’m a member of two professional guilds to the combined tune of ~$700 p.a. If I let the fees lapse, eventually I’ll be expelled from the guilds and would have to complete the much more expensive and test-intensive process to re-join.
On the plus side, I think starting one’s own guild is a great entrepreneurial idea!
I wonder if there’s a guild for gold gilding, a gold guilders’ guild, if you will. That’d be a good one.
I have lifetime certification in my specialty (pathology), because I was fortunate enough to complete my training just in time to be grandfathered in. But of course there’s growing pressure on the American Board of Pathology to revoke lifetime certification, and as you point out insurance companies are increasingly trying to impose MOC via the back door by refusing payment if the physician isn’t participating in MOC. So I’m worried I’m eventually going to have to make a nasty choice: retire before I’m really financially ready to, or hop on the endless and pointless hamster wheel of MOC. Increasingly I think that if push comes to shove, retiring before I’ve hit my ideal number is the way I’m going to go. I simply don’t have the patience for this nonsense!
I suppose the silver lining it that this threat has definitely encouraged me to up my savings rate!
But isn’t that a terrible shame? Good doctors, like yourself, are being forced to retire early because of this ridiculous process. I see it happening everywhere. There needs to be a nationwide uprising that rids the country of the entire exam. We don’t need it. Its our career. We’re already taking all the legal risk of being a doctor. Why do we need some private company taking our money and pimping us for no reason?
No doubt. I wouldn’t say I’m being forced into an early retirement, but the pleasure of no longer spending time and money on this nonsense is certainly enticing.
I encourage all docs to:
1) Lobby their hospitals and relevant committees to stop requiring board certification to be on staff and…
2) Then simply stop paying MOC fees
The madness must end.
ABA MOCA is clearly a money transfer program….supported by the educational industry. The licensure fees…reappointment fees…all the different”papers” we have to do….amazingly with no increase in pay.
I enjoy my job and my patients…but despise the bureaucracy.
The same thing happened to one of the partners in my group, PoF. Fortunately, our hospital pays for the MOC fees so he only had wasted time studying for the recertification exam. I’m sure the dissatisfaction would be even worse with lost time and money.
As a fresh out of residency grad myself, I passed the initial certification exams and then had to enroll in MOC immediately after passing (before I even had received my certificate in the mail)! What’s the utility in doing additional MOC immediately after 4 years of residency and hundreds of hours spent preparing for written and oral boards?
It’s so aggravating.
The fact that many groups and employers will pay for these things make it easier for many docs to shrug their shoulders and comply. It doesn’t sting as much when the $2,100 comes from someone else’s pocket. Ultimately, though, that money comes from somewhere.
Did getting this certification increase your wages or allow you to take on more responsibility? I’m struggling to see the advantages of becoming a diplomate; you mentioned at the 7 year mark, it was important to take the test, but just looking for why! 🙂
Thanks for sharing your story… hope things change in the future for you and your colleagues.
I was board certified as soon as possible after residency, and if you don’t jump through all the hoops, you could be labeled by the Board as “not participating in MOC” which could cause problems with credentialing and insurance participation.
In other words, it’s become more or less required if you want to work and get paid in most traditional doctor jobs. Check out what happened to Dr. Edison when she chose not to participate in the linked article above.
I really enjoy reading about the requirements and, should I say, hassles, people go through in other industries. I have worked in the pharma industry for about 15 years and I’m no stranger to red tape and silly requirements. I think retiring early to avoid the stupid test again is perfectly acceptable. I often dream of retiring on a whim when I’m assigned a ridiculous project with an equally ridiculous timeline. I’ll definitely write a post about that one 😉
With some trepidation, I paid my last MOC annual fee just yesterday evening ($340). Technically, I have a prized lifetime certificate from 1995, but years ago I caved in to the pressure of not being designated, “board certified, not participating in MOC” or some such tortured description. There were threats of being dropped from insurance panels or being paid at a lower rate, scary stuff when you are trying to make a living, and your family depends on you.
As I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I see no need for the annual sanctioned mugging that I allow myself to be subject at the beginning of every year.
Yes, it seems the ABMS has been successful in making a “volunteer” program quite necessary for all practical purposes.
I see that same light, and I intend to follow it.
So what can we do about this money grubbing process? I certified in 2003 and then did my MOC and recertified in 2013, paying $2400 and being told I was good for 10 years. My certificate states that it expires in 2023. Now I’m being told I have to pay the abai $400 a year and take a 30 question exam every 6 months. This is bull! How do we revolt!!! I feel like this a breech of contract. Where are the attorneys?
That is ridiculous. The only fair approach would have been to grandfather in anyone who passed the MOCA exam as exempt from MOCA 2.0 and the computerized questions until the certificate expires.
It’s worth looking into whether or not your hospital’s credentialing committee will accept NBPAS.
Also, I joined NBPAS a few months ago.
I contacted the ABAI and was told my certificate doesn’t expire for 10 years ie 2023 but I will be listed as “non-participating in MOC” if I don’t pay the $400 a year and take the 30 question exam every 6 months! So really there is no choice as insurances will see “non-Participating” as not being certified fully.
I’m not a doctor so obviously not subject to the same MOC as you. However in a similar way I have to maintain certifications. While not something where I’d lose my job if it expired, I’d likely not get a new high paying job in that field if I didn’t renew my certification. Honestly the older I get the more I feel these types of certifications are just a money grab. The recertification tests/classes/membership fees etc. don’t show whether you can do your job. But they certainly shift money from you to them.
Physicians are pushing back against these MOCs in all specialties. It’s unbelieveable that instead of taking your money once every 10 years with a mega-test, they take it from you once a year! I bet it probably smooths out their budget…
At least from a finance perspective, you get to earn interest in the stock market by making ten annual payments instead of one lump sum payment upfront…small consolation.
True. Of course, they had the gall to tell some of us we would be forced to pay both the lump sum and the DCA. A little outrage and they backed off, but it’s unconscionable they would suggest such a thing.