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ABMS Enhances Website for Consumers to Find Physicians who are Maintaining their Certification Status
Nov 09, 2011 (04:11 PM EST)

CHICAGO, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers can now visit to find out whether their plastic surgeon, family physician or dermatologist – among other physician specialists – is meeting the American Board of Medical Specialties Maintenance of Certification® (ABMS MOC®) program requirements established by their certifying Board(s).  To keep pace with continuous advances in the medical field, ABMS and its 24 Member Boards developed the ABMS MOC program, a voluntary program that demonstrates a physician's knowledge and skills in a particular medical specialty or subspecialty, to help provide assurance that participating physicians are committed to lifelong learning and ongoing self-assessment.  This rigorous process continually assesses and enhances physicians' medical knowledge, professionalism, clinical techniques and communications skills. 

"We're honoring our pledge of increased transparency to the public by providing easy access to important information about individual physicians," said Kevin B. Weiss, MD, ABMS President and CEO.  "As the organization that has set the gold standard in physician specialty certification for more than 75 years, this effort is further evidence of our commitment to advance quality health care for patients.  The public can be confident that physicians who are meeting the requirements of the ABMS MOC program are committed to lifelong learning and ongoing self-evaluation."

The public reporting initiative is being rolled out during the next year beginning with physician data from seven ABMS Member Boards, including the American Board of Dermatology, American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Nuclear Medicine, American Board of Otolaryngology, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Surgery.  Data from the remaining 17 Member Boards will be available on by August 2012.  Consumers also can obtain the information by calling toll-free 1-866-ASK-ABMS (1-866-275-2267).

Some Member Boards have already been reporting the MOC status of the physicians they certify.  For the first time, however, ABMS will serve as the source for reporting the MOC status of physicians from all 24 ABMS Member Boards.

For the seven Member Boards participating in the initial rollout, the results of researching a physician's MOC status will show the name of the physician, the name of the ABMS Member Board(s) that certifies the physician and a "yes" or "no" response to the question of whether the physician is meeting the MOC requirements of that Member Board(s).

The types of tools and programs that physicians can use to meet the requirements of an MOC program vary by specialty.  ABMS Member Boards tailor their MOC programs to the needs of their specific medical specialties.

For some ABMS Member Boards, physicians who were Board Certified before those Member Boards established their MOC programs are not required to participate in the ABMS MOC program created by their certifying Board(s).  Consumers can contact the ABMS Member Board(s) directly for more information. 

"A physician's participation in the ABMS MOC program illustrates his or her commitment to measuring and improving their practice, which translates into higher standards and better care for patients," said Dr. Weiss.  "We're pleased to serve as the central repository of public information with the launch of initial data from seven Member Boards, and look forward to full Member Board participation by this time next year."  

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SOURCE American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)