MOC-and the Certification Industrial Complex: Taking money and providing no value

Paul Kempen, MD,
November 30, 2012

Hirsh and Meyers espouse that same party line of the many private non -governmental agencies (and academics who will personally benefit from this program) who wish to impose private interest group-unproven corporate interests upon practicing physicians. They continue to state MOC is "voluntary" and then describe the many ways these "non-profit" corporations (who earn handsomely and have over $400 million in assets and as great yearly gross receipts!) will see this product forced on physicians. HOWEVER, Working physicians do not want or even see any value in this unproven imposition:

The American Medical Association (AMA) developed the Physician's Recognition Award (PRA) in the late 1960's as the validation program for Continuing Medical Education (CME), embraced by most, but not all states, to validate physician "lifelong learning" as the educational component of re-licensure. Recently, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), Inc., a multimillion dollar, non-profit and non-governmental corporation, targeted the State of Ohio as the first of 11 pilot states to implement their corporate brand of MOL (Ohio., Calif., Colo., Del., Iowa, Mass., Mississippi, Okla., Ore., Va., Wis.). On May 19, 2012, the Ohio State Medical Association, as the first Ohio physician organization, formally resolved at the state meeting to oppose the FSMB MOL program. (1) OSMA recognized early that FSMB MOL was the unwarranted regulatory capture of physician licensure: the act of securing corporate income through legislation. (2) An intense battle over FSMB MOL ensued within the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO), zealously led by two FSMB board members, who also occupied the SMBO Executive Director and one senior Board member positions. On October 5, 2012, the OSMA drafted with 10 other state medical associations, representing over 15,000 physicians, a formal resolution of opposition directed to the SMBO. (3) The defeat of the FSMB MOL proposal by SMBO vote followed on October 11, 2012. In the aftermath, the two FSMB board members serving on the SMBO were formally reviewed. The Executive Director of the SMBO was ousted October 12th and formal investigations regarding violations of conflict of interests continue regarding the senior SMBO member. (4) Subsequent communications with legal offices of the SMBO and OSMA concluded that: 1) FSMB MOL was not advocated by any other corporate, government or consumer groups, no deficiency of AMA PRA CME programs or physician competency issues were identified in Ohio and 2) FSMB MOL initiative appeared solely promulgated by the FSMB as a corporate mandate. It continues to be actively advocated by FSMB in 9 states and must be either fought or approved in each state. FSMB MOL serves primarily corporate coffers and false reassurance through testing vs CME. Effective physician opposition is primarily possible via grass-roots resolutions at state level. We must inform and support all state organizations at this time regarding FSMB MOL, using this "Ohio experience" as evidence and instruction in opposing this regulatory capture of physicians, solely for corporate profits. (5) The assertions by the Certification industrial complex including the ABMS that MOC and MOL are "Done deals" is simple propaganda-nothing more!

References: 1) Ohio State Medical Association Statement on MOL. Available at: Accessed 10/27/12

2)Kempen PM: Maintenance of Certification (MOC), Maintenance of Licensure (MOL), and Continuing Medical Education (CME):the Regulatory Capture of Medicine. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 2012; 17:72-5. Available at: Accessed 10/27/12 3) Kumar D et al: Joint letter from 11 medical societies to the SMBO. Available at: Accessed 10/27/12 4) Alan Johnson In The Columbus Dispatch Thursday October 18, 2012 6:07 AM: State medical board ousts chief Available at: board-ousts-chief.html Accessed 10/27/12 5)Kempen PM: What to do about MOC and MOL? Available at: Accessed Nov 1, 2012

Conflict of Interest:

None declared

Conflict of Interest

None declared