MOC Survey Summary


n =167

Maintenance of certification is good, we should support it.
yes = 9, 5%

I have been recertified
yes = 74, 44%

I am grandfathered and certified for life
yes = 57, 34%

I found the process to be:

10, 14%

5, 7%

a valuable protection for patients
3, 4%

45, 61%

irrelevant to what I do
45, 61%

If grandfathered:

I chose to recertify voluntarily
10, 18%

I do not plan to recertify
47, 82%

I have confidence in the competence and integrity of the ABMS
24, 14%

I have been recertified and will quit before I go through the process again.
43, 58%

Other answers to “I found the recertification process to be”:

  • a scam
  • an exercise in indoctrination
  • Expensive
  • Expensive
  • I recertified in MANY yrs ago. Will never do so again. It’s nonsense.
  • Much too expensive
  • of no value to my patients or myself
  • stressful, expensive, time consuming. If we have to keep up with CMEs we should not need continuous recertification.
  • The “research ” project was preposterous, a complete sellout to the notion that non-doctors can tell doctors how to better practice medicine.
  • Waste of money

Other Comments:

Just make it cheaper, less strenuous, without need for modules currently mandated, skip PIP,
astonishing that a minority of our peers are reaping huge monetary rewards from the hardwork of others.

ABOG used to allow recertification by reading articles and answering questions. It allowed you to read current and peer reviewed literature. It was easy and educational. It is no longer easy as we now do MOC’s and exams again.

Actually, I am still working on getting my Process Improvement Module / study completed so I can officially be recertified. Has been a disappointing recertification experience, and I cannot see how it will improve the care I deliver. I do not have support staff to assist accomplishing the sheer volume of paperwork. I have also come to the conclusion that you cannot do well on the recertification exam unless you purchace the ACP study products at great cost. They design the test, and provide the answers if you are willing to pay.
As an AOA medical school graduate, current USAF reservist with 20 years combined active duty and reserve time, who works four jobs to generate enough income to pay for college expenses for my children, and save for retirement, I am becoming extremely disillusioned.
I almost never take a day off, working 7 days a week. I know alot of other primary care doctors who do the same.

After taking the exam I was very disappointed. I didn’t feel as though it reflected the working knowledge base I know I need to be a competent doctor. I passed and actually did much better than I expected compared to my peers which surprisingly gave more support to my decision never to waste my time taking it again. This examination process is clearly becoming an abuse of power. My fear is that the examinations become more difficult to pass leading to multiple retakes and the fees to go with it. I say we physicians unite and refuse to recertify. If enough of us refuse to do it hospitals and insurance plans would have no choice but to drop MOC as a requirement.

After two years of fellowship and 20 years of practice, I have a clinical practice in Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery, not Ophthalmoloby. To have to recertify in Ophthalmology would be irrelevant to my practice, time consuming for no clinical benefit since I do not do ophthalmology on a daily basis, and a cost and use of resources that will have no positive result.

also certified by ABIM-but do not have to recertify for ABIM

As others have stated, recertification is a scam. Taking the exam and passing it once should be sufficient. Continuing education is important/useful, but can be done with just an open book exam. There is no need to retake a difficult exam that is often not clinically relevant and abnormally picky. Our medical licenses should definitely NOT be tied to board certification status.

Ask Sen. Paul….

Being boarded by 5 diffeerent organizations as above with recert. requiriments is already rediculous. Another Moc mol proposal which only duplicates these time consuming , expensive processes serves no purpose other than to enrich the state and further impair physicians ability to make a reasonable income in an already decimated over regulated profession .

Board certification and “MOC” is a farce. It exists to fill the coffers of specialty societies, and does not improve medical practice or patient care. It is generally promoted by those who have nothing to do with real world delivery of medical practice or care of patients. My medical learning, and self education is far superior to what I am forced to pay for, and endure at the hands of specialty boards

Boards should avoid going the AMA route to make more money with unholy agenda like monitoring patient satisfaction etc! They seem to be taking cues from AMA, PressGaney etc. They need to stick to assessment of knowledge..That is it. They also need to take a proactive stance against noctors and bastardization of medical profession who are neither board eligible nor board certifiiable.

Certification should be decided by members of individual specialty boards, the details of which should be agreed upon by currently certified physicians. In this way, physicians will remain self regulating. Governmental regulation would be unproductive.

Current MOC processes have no relevance to the practice of good medicine and only unnecessarily increase the cost of medical care. Current CME requirements in Ohio are more than adequate.

Doubtful that this whole process of recertification as it stands actually improves patient care. It seems more like jumping through hoops for the sake of jumping through hoops. How come the doctors who voted recertification process in are grandfathered out? I didn’t have a choice either – I already graduated from medical school when the changes happened.

Enough already. I have been recertified and the questions were irrelevant to daily practice. The fees to take the test were way out of proportion and used to support “test makers” salaries and lavish trips.

Everyone of our colleges state recert. is costly, takes time away from practice, and is truly not pertinent to their practice.

Expensive enough process that with increasing technology should be decreasing in cost.

I agree that this entire process is more beaurocratic hoops that doctors must jump through. I do not believe that it is beneficial to patient care. It actually takes away from patient care as doctors must put forth more and more energy, time, and money into making sure that “requirements” that are not evidence based are met.

I agree with the “cottage industry” assertion. I have been certified by ABFP since 1979. The fees, for the same exam, have tripled, but my income has not. I scored well above the 50th percentile without much work. I won’t bother doing the exam again; I’m 68, and still practicing, but comfortable if I am forced to stop.

I already have to recetify every 10 years for the ABS. I strongly oppose an additional process.

I am a board certified family physician but practice emergency medicine exclusively. As such, I find the recertification process irrelevant to what I actually practice. I am forced to be board certified in Family Medicine but find a vast majority of the recertification process does not apply to myself.

I am already required to go through MOC with the American Board of Pediatrics. It would be unreasonable to have to be enrolled in another MOC.
Thank you

I am board certified in facial plastic surgery, and will have to do MOC in 2015. Test includes 2 years of sequential operative log demonstrating 50 facial plastic surgeries per year, prior to taking the exam. Oral and written exam out-of-state. I’ll likely re-certify in 2015, but that will be the last time. Good luck. Dr. Joseph

I am currently in my specialty’s 10 yr. recertification process. Since we are forced to undergo this expensive, time-consuming process under the possible threat of losing our privileges if we are not “re-certified” ; there should be no “grandfathered/certified for life ” exemptions. Every licensed/practicing physician should be subject to the objectives of the MOC.

I am finishing residency and starting private practice. I wanted to become board certified initially. This is the first year that the ABPN is forcing all who become board certified to enroll in MOC automatically at a cost of $175 per year. The psychiary length of cycle to recertification is ten years. If you do not participate in the MOC, your certification is no longer valid after six years. After three years, they list you as “certified but not participating actively”. In addition, the cost of the initial certification doubled after they eliminated the oral exam essentially costing $3000 for a written exam (computer) that is due prior to finishing residency, though the exam is not until three months later. The cost of certification is ridiculous especially when investigating the expenses of the board (form 990). Also, the requirements of MOC appear to be expensive and time consuming and especially difficult for those in private practice. There doesn’t seem to be any difficulty with the current CME system.
Thank you

I am grandfathered into both Boards, but got recertified in Pediatrics in about 1983 voluntarily. It was nonsensical. I will not waste the time and money and I will not do this again. It has no relation to practice or to being a good doctor. It’s a money making adventure for the Boards and for the “leaders” of our “professional” socities who hawk “preparatory courses” as part of the MOC money-making process.

I am greatly concerned about this as I am not board certified. I did complete residency, but experienced a head injury which, apparently, knocked “multiple choice” out of my head, at least for K-type questions. I took the boards twice, and did not pass.

I consider myself competent, and have been in practice for 25 years. The only time the board certification has been an issue is in the courtroom. I do not believe that I should be put out to pasture over this issue! I know that I am not the only non-certified physician. I have a very highly respected colleague who is not board certified because he trained in the UK at a time that there was no reciprocity in certification. We should not overlook similar situations.

I am opposed to the recertification process

I am registered to take the exam this year . I will consider retiring if I have to take it more than once. I think it is unfair that an 80 years old physician out of school for decades get to grandfather the board and others have to pay large sum of money to redo it again and again,

I am shocked at the salaries of the ABMS executives. I VOLUNTEER to give the Ophthalmology oral boards, and we pay for our own expenses minus the hotel room that is used to give the exam. I am going to rethink that day of work and weekend that I give up for the good of education now that I know the salaries of the executives.

I am supportive of the concept of maintenance of certification, but the current process is expensive and not pertinent to issues that we deal with routinely.

I am to young to quit this time around, but after my next re-certification will probably not follow thru any more and hopefully be able to retire before it gets even more screwed up.

I attempted to get re-certified after my 10 years of board certification expired two years ago. I found the process consuming and ridiculous. After I spent $1000 I stopped trying and am not currently certified. My patients have no idea what this certification means and I find it useless. I would not agree to mandatory re-certification. I already get my annual CME.

I cannot figure out who is managing ABMS or the specialty boards, and what kind of oversight (or participation) individual physicians have on their specialty board.

i can’t see enough patients to break even, but i am burdened with more and more and more cme requirements. every requirement costs me more of the money i don’t make.
the exams are all computer based. unfortunately, i am old enough not to be computer fluent; it is a second language. on exams against my computer-native younger colleagues, i look like a fool, not because of lack of knowlege, but because of poor computer testing skills. i’m looking for a job not hinged on board certification. if i can find one, i won’t leave medicine– otherwise, who knows???

I did not find recertification exams difficult and it did encourage me to ensure that I was current in my review of the literature.

I do moc activities but do not take the exams, it’s too expensive

I do not believe this proposed regulatory process will improve the quality of health care or eliminate substandard practitioners.

I do not feel recertification has any benefit to patients and taxes both time and finances of physicians.

I have been certified and grandfathered in and will NOT EVER VOLUNTARILY recertify. I agree that it is not a process that improves the medical care provided and is a HUGELY lucrative source of income for those companies who do the recertification.

I have no problem with continuous education — I engage in it every day. The programs officially sanctioned for MOC credit, however, are too time-consuming for the amount of knowledge they impart. Many of them also are expensive.

I have not found the recertification process at all educational nor relevent to my daily practice of pulmonary critical care medicine. I think the process is overly expensive, time consuming and distracts me from pursuing other educational activities. I likely will not repeat the process in the future.


I have recertified twice! The next time iI will be 61 years old…not sure if I will recertify or quit. MOC is another hoop that is not well layed out by my board. I continue to read in my specialty and in general medicine as well as keep current with my CME. MOC for dermatology is just too unrealistic! Take a look at it..we must survey our patients, a better barometer is how long they’ve stayed with me!

I keep current with CME courses and self study in my area of practice. Recert would require showing competency in areas well outside and not relevant to my current scope of practice. I know that I and most of my colleagues would simply quit and take early retirement rather than submit to recertification.
I am incensed that Specialty Board administrators make more money for working fewer hours per week than most primary care physicians.
The end result of the increased bureaucratization of medical practice will be fewer primary care doctors, higher costs and low quality cookie cutter medical practice.
Once prospective doctors realize the costs and risks associated with mandatory recertification, they will see the practice of medicine, particularly primary care as very unattractive, and a career that will probably not even pay for the costs of education or justify the effort needed to become trained as an MD. This will only exacerbate the MD shortage.
It is already hard to find a well qualified doctor to look after me, and this problem is only gong to get worse, especially with mandatory MOC.
Already, every doctor I know actively discourages young people from going into medicine and recommends that they find a more stable and rewarding profession.

I personally believe that board certification in general is a waste of time. Studying to take a memorization test with no resources in a timed manner and without any other support is so artificial it is useless. Medicine is not practiced in isolation. Not using your resources and looking things up amounts to malpractice now. There is far too much information in any medical field to use just your brain. People are training to take the test when they should be training to care for patients. Open book, open resource, group structured, and year long (perhaps your final year of residency) tests should be done with lifelong certification. That would be a far more realistic test.

I recertified in infectious diseases from the American Board of Internal Medicine in for the second time in 2009. I think the traditional recertification process i.e. ” study for test and take test” is a time honored, reasonable and valuable professional endeavor. However, the ABIM went way over the line with an additional requirement, an absurd research project requirement, a complete waste of time, an apostasy of the principles near and dear to any internist’s heart. A preposterous, contrived, artificial attempt at “improving pt care” is what resulted and embittered me (obviously) to the ABIM. I offered constructive critism when they asked for feedback twice and received no answer. I felt if anyone would know what it’s like to practice medicine these days with every sort of ridiculous regulation, oversight, and onerous documentation requirement , it would be the ABIM. No wonder my feeling of betrayal and abandonment when they decided to get in the ” i’m not a doctor, but I know how to practice medicine ” line along with lawyers and hospital administrators.

I see no correlation between MOC and capabilities. We physicians are being drowned in a sea of regulation. It often feels that regulatory agencies are doing everything in their power to obstruct our ability to care for patients. I fear that because these MOC’s make jobs for people who make rules and administer the program, that it will be impossible to get rid of.

I see value to MOC.


I think it is too rigorous requirement for those who work full time just 50 cme annually should more then suffice no other profession requires this!!

I think that the sole reason for MOC is to enrich the Boards that provide the certification. It is unbelievable that the physicians at the Board make 4-5 times what the practicing physician makes. In Pediatrics, the person at the top makes almost $1,000,000 per year and flies first class everywhere (I have seen him in the planes). But putting that aside:

I work and teach in a medical school. I write the textbooks that are used in my specialty. I write the articles that result in changes in treatment in my specialty. It is ludicrous to expect me to recertify. If we are going to be “evidence based” , then I would sincerely like to see the evidence comparing those that have completed MOC in my specialty to those that have not. I have looked. There is NONE.

I was board certified in 1979-I have never subjected myself to the recertification process-and never will.

I was in the first group of Emergency Medicine physicians to certify when EM became a specialty. I already had 5 years of Emergency medicine under my belt. That was in 1980. I re-certified in 1990, and again in 2000. My last re-certification expired Dec 31, 2010. Did not feel the certification meant anything to my knowledge and towards patient care, thus did not re-certify for a 4th time. Meanwhile, the ACEP notified me of my status as (permanent) “Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians” for the rest of my life, as long as I remained a member in good standing. Then I was also voted an Emeritus member of the American Acadamy of Emergency Medicine, where I was one of the first groups of ER physicians to join the AAEM. I may thus use the titles of FACEP and FAAEM.
I am now semi-retired, but would not mind doing some part time Urgent Care or part time administrative work. I do attend the weekly EM resident grand rounds (3-5 hours per session) at the Hospital where I used to work, and try to contribute to the knowledge of the new EM residents. Thank you.

I was recently recertified by the ABEM for 10 more years. Abem has been requiring LLSA exams annually for quite a while now. This is educational and possibly justifiable at a fair cost but I know of no scientific evidence that it is any better than simply requiring CME. After 10 years, they finally started offering CME credits for all the effort you have to go through to take and pass the LLSA exams. Now they are going to add on another layer of bureaucracy requiring periodic patient satisfaction logs to maintain certification. I know of no evidence that this will do anything but add more money to the pockets of the bureaucrats. It will result in a significant percentage of otherwise perfectly good ER docs from practicing their profession in the face of an already existent national shortage of ER Docs. We have enough stress in our lives already. Most ER docs work with computers these days. The best thing the ABEM could do is encourage easily accessible relevant CME at our finger tips while we are working.

I wish I had been a Veterinarian. They have none of this nonsense hindering them. They and their patients have more privacy and freedom than I do.

If you can’t pass the recert test from the Amer Board of Rad Onc you shouldn’t be practicing. It was designed for the average practitioner and for even those who specialize iln one area to pass. It was easy and did not require studying. Docs need to stay up to date or retire.

Im supposed to start MOC this year

Internal medicine. Cardiology. Interventional cardiology

It is a waste of time and money and has no function on how I will practice medicine. I am due to go through MOC in 2013 and think that it serves no purpose.

It is bs. It is only for extracting money from the physicians. Apparently no physician has learned anything from “on the job learning” by working long hours each day for years on end. It is purely about power and control only.

It is pathetic that inspite of being a ” voluntary program”, from a non for profit private agency, it is viewed as a regulatory process which it is not. This is a parellel industry with many off shoots for profit. I would like to refer to this following articles (though there are many others)
Fairness and effectiveness of MOC
MOC in internal Medicine-Realities
ABIM (Eric Holmboe) states “The hallmark of certification and MOC is that it is a physician-driven and a VOLUNTARY, SELF REGULATORY process…
Both opinions were published in Arch Internal Medicine Set 12, 2011 issues

It’s costly and uses time I would rather spend on educational experiences I believe to be more appropriate to my practice.

Keeping up with the “latest” in medical development and theory can be detrimental when taking the boards since one is never certain at what period in the time-line the board questions relate to. Also, test taking expertise does not ultimately lead to office practice expertise.

MOC should be voluntary

More is not better. Have a recertification exam if you must, require that people actuality practice, and leave it at that. Requirements beyond this are excessive and only transfer wealth from individuals to certification/credentialing bodies.

Most physicians continue to read/learn/atttend meetings to expand their knowledge base and stay up to date. It is not necessary to continue to take closed book examinations (which is not how medicine is practiced) and it is not necessary to come up with “projects” (quality improvemnts) that we now need to do. It is reasonable to expect physcians to read journals/attend meetings but more than that is not necessary.

My certification expired in 2010 and I have no intention of recertifying. I do not practice in hospitals anymore and will not act as a “provider” for any insurer that requires board certification. I have never been happier in my profession since removing myself from the servitude of hospital and insurance bureaucracies.

My understanding of Board Certification was that it occurred shortly after specialty training as it was meant to help certify that a recently trained physician had the credentials to practice independently. Board Certification signaled that said physician had the necessary skills to practice with competence. BUT – it was the ongoing clinical practice over the years that led to the maximum skill and clinical acumen. In other words, an older physician with years of patient contact and care, was even more of an expert than the recently `papered’ Board Certified doctor. This recertification /MOC/MOL makes a mockery of the most important issue in any doctors’s competence, his/her CLINICAL SKILL AND EXPERIENCE. To substitute that with an outside remote organization’s judgement is truly a disservice to medicine as a profession and to the patients we serve.

Therefore, one can conclude that the impetus for organizations to push this MOC/MOL etc. agenda must be for money or control, not quality.

None of the above. MOC/MOL has reptilian origins. We must STOP the MOLesters NOW. It is a huge waste of time and money. The people who preach evidence-based medicine have NO evidence that doctor MOLestation improves delivery of medical care. Yet, these people are lining their pockets and bank accounts at physicians’ expense.


recertification is another attempt by the STATE to gain control over our lives. I am a tenured professor of ophthalmology who believes in the power of the individual to maintain high standards of medical practice. Recertification is counter-productive toward the maintenance of high professional standards.

Should have a question that someone like me could answer, say I am “grandfathered” and certified for life?

Tell everyone and anyone that advocates recertification to go to Hell! Thanks

Thank you!

The “gravy-train” that these boards afford some of these “executives” has to stop. If it is continued it should not be at our expense.

The entire Board Certification process, honorable 30 years ago, has just become a money making racket.

The problem with medical boards is that they are run by lawyers and not physicians!!!

The process only measures the ability to answer open-book test questions, which may not be relevant to our practices, especially for subspecialists. There is no correlation with the ability to practice evidence-based medicine or ability to use common sense.

The recertification process and maintaining the MOC is expensive.

the recertification process is a joke and just a way to cost more in time and money.

There is little association between test/certification and clinical performance. Already we have had to change to re-certification every 10 yrs at our own expense, annual CME requirements and some specialties have to submit case reviews, annual “mini-certification” exams. Add to that the ever-increasing burden of medical record documentation for which our compensation is dependent, one has to ask, “when do I see patients?”. Academia, government and now certification beaurocracies are stiffling the practice of medicine and the relationship of doctor and patient which is at the core of patient safety, quality care and satisfaction of patient and practioner.

there is NO evidence that MOC/MOL improves patient care. It can certainly diminish access by driving competent physicians into early retirement. I oppose MOL/MOC

These people making big bucks for doing NOTHING except driving good doctors out of medicine should be publicly flogged!

This is a great survey!

This is harassment and hazing!

This is nothing but waste of time.


This recertification thing is just a money grab as evidenced by the pass rates

This will create an exodus of qualified physicians who are near the end of their carreers who will quit rather than go through the expense and pain of this – creating even greater shortages of future Heath care providers

Very disappointed in this new process.


We don’t even have a complete set of the requirements five years into the ‘program’.

Who determines the fee for these exams ? What does ABIM do with its profits ?
If ABIM ‘s interest is genuine, board review courses should be supported financially by ABIM and all interested attendees should not be charged a penny.

Would prefer an in-home exam and CME activities as the only requirements for recertification.

No useless surveys, computerized modules and supervised exam: These are tedious and stressful and cover material that a practicing allergist does not deal with on a regular basis like complicated immune deficiencies and transplant immunology. I always consult a colleague or a book when faced with clinical dilemas and continue to do so despite the recertification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.