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Letter from AAN President

February 24, 2015

Dear AAN Colleague,

Our members have been understandably concerned about the burdens of the current Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, and we have heard you. The AAN is calling on the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) to eliminate Part IV of MOC—Improvement in Medical Practice (also known as Performance in Practice and “PIP”).

The AAN agrees with our members that Part IV of MOC is an unnecessarily onerous requirement, and we regret the hardship the ABPN’s requirement has imposed on our members. The process is unnecessarily cumbersome, especially in the absence of convincing research showing that it is effective in improving physicians’ practice and the quality of the care they provide. There is still contentious debate regarding the best measures and mechanisms for assessing quality of care and what does—and does not—work. Therefore, the AAN is urging repeal of Part IV of MOC and is calling on the ABPN to respond positively to this request.

At the same time, I want to underscore the AAN’s continuing commitment to lifelong learning and quality improvement. Given the ever increasing pace of scientific discovery and advances in medical research, continuing education of physicians is an essential aspect of practice. As physicians, we must be current in our areas of expertise if we are to fulfill our commitment to the well-being of our patients. The Academy also supports licensure of physicians to maintain current skills and competencies when delivering high-quality patient-centered care.

This decision of the AAN Board of Directors to call for revocation of Part IV is an independent decision. We believe that one of our most important roles is to advocate responsibly on behalf of our members. But it is also important to remember that the AAN is an independent association with no control over ABPN, the American Board of Medical Specialties, or the MOC rationale and process.

As promised, we will continue to keep you informed about developments regarding this crucial issue, and we appreciate hearing your thoughtful comments and concerns.

Sincerely,

Timothy A. Pedley, MD, FAAN
President, American Academy of Neurology

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