Evolving Board Certification: What the ACR is Doing

Eric Friedberg_ACR17-116rThis post was contributed by Eric Friedberg MD FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Certification in Radiology Task Force.

Controversies surrounding Maintenance of Certification (MOC®) are increasingly dynamic and of considerable interest to American College of Radiology (ACR) members.

As Chair of the newly created ACR Certification in Radiology Task Force, I want to update you on what the ACR is planning, studying and doing to address this important issue.

In response to a recent request from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the ACR created a work group to comment on a report on the status of MOC® across all specialties. That group worked tirelessly over the winter holidays to prepare a detailed comment letter.

The ACR also signed on to a letter from the Council of Medical Subspecialty Societies (CMSS), which represents approximately 800,000 physicians from 43 medical subspecialty societies.

Both the ACR and CMSS letters call for an immediate moratorium on MOC® until many programmatic deficiencies are corrected.

At the combined Board of Chancellors (BOC) and Council Steering Committee (CSC) meeting in January, the Certification in Radiology Task Force was created as a partnership between the BOC and CSC. This task force also includes several at-large ACR members.

The Task Force is propelled by recognition that ongoing certification is an area of increasing physician and ACR member interest and concern. An ABMS survey of approximately 35,000 physicians revealed that only 12 percent of the physicians value the current MOC® programs.

The ACR is aware of these concerns, stating in its ABSM response letter that, “[t]he ABMS Vision Initiative report both underestimates and understates the reality, robustness, and energy of a growing grass roots ‘anti-board movement.’”

These important ACR member issues have recently been amplified by the backdrop of various ABMS member boards coming under intense scrutiny and even legal actions for financial practices, lack of transparency, non-democratically elected leadership, high-stakes non-validated psychometric testing and concerns about monopolistic behavior. The American Board of Radiology (ABR) was named as a defendant in one class action suit and a “co-conspirator” in another.

Our Task Force is studying these issues and preparing to make recommendations to the BOC and CSC at both the ACR 2019 and ACR 2020 annual meetings.

The ACR online member forum, ENGAGE, has become a hub for communication on related issues. We encourage you to participate in those discussions.

Your opinions matter. We are listening, and are committed to acting on your behalf.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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