This Physician Declined to Do MOC. See What Happened to Her

The American Board of Medical Specialties says “.” This is echoed by my board, the American Board of Pediatrics, who says, “Board certification is a voluntary process that goes above and beyond state licensing requirements for practicing medicine.”

Over the past few years, the definition of “board certified” has changed from a one-time test to an ongoing series of tests, hoops, and fees to maintain certification through the MOC program. Not participating in any portion of the convoluted and expensive MOC program results in loss of board certification, but so what? Board certification, either as initial certification or 20 years into maintaining certification is voluntary, so what’s the big deal?

Well, it turns out, not complying with MOC is a big deal. Not only has the definition of “board certified” changed, apparently so has the definition of “voluntary.”

Source: This Physician Declined to Do MOC. See What Happened to Her


  1. I truly enjoyed reading this, but the problem has been discussed for now at least for me, over five years. I attended a debate and conference at Penn University that long ago, where there actually were doctors arguing on the side of mandatory MOC tied to licensing. As with all things doctor, they can’t seem to get on the same page and unite. After attending this I wrote a blog reminding Doctors how Certification Boards gained power in the first place. And the how is Doctors were greedy once again and saw using the ability to advertise Board Certified as both a way to recruit new patients and demand higher prices. In other words they saw it as a way to generate more income personally and jumped on board, hook, line and sinker.

    And now, we are where we are, much like every other program they endorsed in the past, with short sighted vision. Medicare and Medicaid, Network Association and HMO all come to mind.

    While I empathize, I hope all remember to realize why Docs are where they are with this problem, yet again, self imposed.


  2. So True on many fronts, Anthony. Very similar scenario to how we ended up contractually bound to payers. We “sold our souls” for security. And then there are those that are truly convinced that MOC (not just CME after passing boards) is in the public’s best interest; but they tend to be a group that never met a regulation or certification they didn’t like.


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