February 19, 2018
James C. Puffer, M. D.
President and CEO
American Board of Family Medicine
1648 Mc Grathiana Parkway, Suite 550
Lexington, KY 40511
Dear Dr. Puffer:
As president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, I am writing to you about the damage done to the reputations of our members by your organization. Board certified family physicians who choose not to participate in the costly, burdensome, and time-consuming process of maintenance of certification are being denounced on your website and being described as “not certified.”
These physicians are likely to be inappropriately denied hospital privileges and removed from insurance company panels. Insurance companies may contact their patients and advise them to find a different doctor if they expect coverage. Excellent physicians might be driven out of business. Patients might be deprived of their physician and suffer the consequences.
Your organization has apparently colluded with hospitals and insurance companies to create a certification monopoly. Board Certification should not be based on whether a physician pays money and then sits in front of a computer to do a “module.” Physicians should have multiple pathways for lifelong learning and demonstrating their abilities.
Therefore, we are requesting that your organization stop using the proprietary product of maintenance of certification as the determinant of board certification. Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to discussing this with you further.
Albert L. Fisher, M.D.