Regarding the July 15 Point of View “Angry physicians lose faith in board”: Board certification gives patients assurance that their doctors are assessed periodically to demonstrate competency.
However, Dr. Ghulam Shaikh questioned the value of maintenance of certification, a process that demonstrates to patients that doctors are keeping up with medical knowledge and advances and are taking action to improve the quality of their practice.
All states require doctors to be licensed to treat patients. Board certification is a voluntary process that goes beyond state licensing, signifying that physicians have achieved the highest level of competence in their specialty (pediatrics, orthopedics, anesthesiology). MOC assures the public that physicians sustain that level of competence over time.
Certifying boards, including the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery – all located in the Triangle – recognize the pressure on physicians to adhere to government, insurance and institutional requirements. We are working with our certified physicians to improve and streamline MOC, including implementing innovations in testing and individualizing quality improvement.
Studies suggest that many MOC activities improve patients’ health. We applaud doctors who demonstrate their commitment to medical excellence and encourage patients to learn more about their doctors’ certification status and dedication to continuing education and quality improvement.
President, CEO, American Board of Pediatrics
James P. Rathmell
Secretary, American Board of Anesthesiology
The letter was also signed by David F. Martin, the interim executive director of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery in Chapel Hill.