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Perspectives on the Future of Board Recertification

This month, analyses of the report on the future of recertification authored by the independent Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission are featured in peer-reviewed journals:

  • In a newly published editorial for Ophthalmology, American Board of Ophthalmology CEO George Bartley, MD, explores the ABO’s perspective on the Commission’s findings and recommendations. He discusses with optimism the opportunities for enhancing ophthalmology’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program based on the guidance of practicing ophthalmologists and the organization’s close collaborators, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In particular, Dr. Bartley highlights the ABO’s commitment to work with the small number of diplomates who struggle to meet the passing standard on the Quarterly Questions assessment program. The piece contains a side-by-side comparison of the Commission’s recommendations and the ABO’s past, current, and planned actions to improve its offerings for knowledge assessment and practice improvement.

  • In an accompanying commentary for Ophthalmology, AAO President George Williams, MD, and CEO David Parke, II, MD, note that “having a high-quality clinically relevant continuous professional self-regulation process is critical.” The co-authors espouse their support for “a process that results in a program valued by all stakeholders, particularly our patients and their ophthalmologists, and ultimately enhances the profession of ophthalmology for the betterment of society.”

  • Finally, in an opinion piece for JAMA, Vision Commission Co-Chairs Christopher Calenda, MD, MPH and William Scallion, PhD, along with ABMS President and CEO Richard Hawkins, MD, explain the basis for the recommendations in the report. In addition to specific steps designed to improve the certification experience, the authors call for a “reimagining” of the relationships between and amongst certification boards, specialty societies, and continuing medical education organizations in support of continuous physician learning and improvement.

The stakeholder-led Vision Commission, initiated by the American Board of Medical Specialties in early 2018, included practicing physicians, members of the public, representatives from healthcare organizations, specialty and state medical societies, and certifying boards. The Commission’s charge was to review the current state of MOC and make recommendations for improvement for all medical specialty certifying boards. Based on input from more than 36,000 individuals, whose feedback was collected via survey, oral and written testimonies, and other research, the Commission released a final report on February 12, 2019.

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