It’s helpful to remember that ABEM has a role in protecting professional self-regulation through certification. Certification only has value when physicians meet a standard. The rigor of the standard determines the strength of the credential.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 36 – No 09 – September 2017
Q: There still seems to be substantial frustration about MOC in other specialties. How is ABEM different than other specialty boards?
A: There is a great deal of frustration about MOC in some of the other specialties, and it sometimes spills over into our conversations about emergency medicine. There are a few big differences between the ABEM MOC program and programs in other specialties. ABEM never offered lifetime certification ever. Most other boards have lifetime certificate holders, which has created some factionalism. The notion that ABEM diplomates needed to periodically recertify has always been a part of our professional culture. In many ways, ABEM got the MOC program right the first time. After Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment was introduced in 2004, several changes were made to improve the relevancy and lessen the burden of the activity. Having the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and ACEP provide CME credit added value to the process. Soon, we will be providing rationales for the answers to the questions, offering a choice about which articles you can read, and delivering optional prereading questions that have been shown to enhance learning.
The Part IV Improvement in Medical Practice (IMP) requirement is seamless for most emergency physicians. That’s because ABEM designed the requirement to allow you to get credit for work that you are already doing. ABEM recently finished a project with ACEP to provide IMP credit for physicians participating in the Clinical Emergency Data Registry. We also approved the ACEP E-QUAL Sepsis activity for IMP credit.
Q: To many physicians, especially community physicians, ABEM seems like a closed group. What do you think ABEM can do to be seen as more transparent by emergency physicians?
A: I think that’s an old impression that is no longer warranted. ABEM directors are nominated by every emergency medicine organization and are usually well-known physicians in our specialty. As a sponsor, ACEP has three positions on the ABEM Board for which they nominate directors. ABEM has always had a strict policy that anybody who serves on the Board or is a volunteer must be clinically active. ABEM values community physician input, and we make certain to include community physicians when setting passing scores for any ABEM examination. Also, last year’s Chair of the Test Administration Committee and former ABEM president, Barry N. Heller, MD, is a community physician, as is last year’s President, Michael L. Carius, MD, FACEP.