AAD’s PI CME program eases MOC process

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is an ongoing recertification system for  U.S. physicians — including dermatologists — that emphasizes continuous improvement and lifelong continuing professional development (CPD) to assure that physicians deliver the highest-quality patient care throughout their careers. Under the American Board of Dermatology’s  MOC 10-year cycle system, which is voluntary, board-certified dermatologists are required to complete relevant continuing medical education (CME) activities, self-assessments, practice/quality improvement activities such as performance improvement, and pass the recertification examination.   In 2010, the Federation of State Medical Boards  (FSMB) adopted Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) which not only requires CME but also requires self-assessment and performance improvement CPD activities.  MOL is currently being piloted in over 10 states.

The Academy recently spoke with Ma Katrina Dy, MD, FAAD, about her experience using the AAD’s PI CME activities to complete her MOC practice assessment/quality improvement component.

AAD: Dr. Dy, you enrolled in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program in 2006, the year of the program’s inception. The program has received mixed reviews from our members. What’s been your experience?

Dr. Dy: Let’s be honest. Most physicians participate in MOC because we have to, not because we want to. Like most of my colleagues, I agree with what MOC is designed to accomplish. Physicians need to stay current. When I enrolled in MOC, my thought was I wanted to knock it off as quickly as possible. It’s expensive and time-consuming. Many of us feel we could be using the time and money spent on MOC to improve our practices.

When I enrolled in 2006, there weren’t many resources to help you fulfill the components. Fortunately, I discovered that the Academy has resources to help meet MOC requirements. That’s proved to be a big help through the process.


PI CME resources

AAD:  What Academy programs have been most helpful to you?

Dr. Dy: The Performance Improvement CME (PI CME) activities that help fulfill the practice assessment/ quality improvement component of MOC. Twice during the 10-year cycle (once every five years), you are required to complete an exercise designed to evaluate clinical care delivery in your practice and help you identify opportunities for improvement. You can fulfill this requirement with relative ease through the Academy’s Performance Improvement CME (PI CME) activities. It takes much of the hassle out of the process. You simply go through the steps provided. And, since the program has been fully vetted by the Academy, you know your submission will be accepted by the ABD.

You can fulfill this requirement with relative ease through the Academy’s PI CME activities. It takes much of the hassle out of the process.

AAD: What AAD PI CME module did you take to complete the quality improvement component requirement?

Dr. Dy: I did the Academy’s Acne PI CME module. It’s web-based and self-directed, which allowed me to complete it during my off-hours. Even though it requires a bit of legwork to gather data, you can do it at your own pace. It offers guidelines and goal dates, which help keep you on track.

Also, I was very impressed with the amount of support the Academy provides. There is dedicated email support, and so I could email a specific contact person who would help me troubleshoot any issues about the activity. In addition, the Academy sent me regular reminders to ensure I was hitting my target dates. I was very impressed at the level of service.

AAD: Did you learn anything about how you are approaching your acne cases that surprised you and/or that made you adjust how your are practicing?

Dr. Dy: I'm probably more consistent in documenting the severity of a patient's acne at both first and follow up visits, which helps us track progress a lot more accurately. 

AAD: Did the Academy’s PI CME activity benefit you in other ways?

Dr. Dy: Yes, it did! I found that it has many benefits outside of fulfilling the MOC requirement.

For example, it offers a large number of CME credits. (The Acne PI CME offers a maximum of 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™). And if you live in a state like Massachusetts that requires 50 CME hours annually, this program is a good way to get credits without spending a fortune.

In addition, if you belong to an organization like an independent physicians association (IPA), the Academy’s PI CME activities will help you meet requirements for quality improvement projects. I belong to an IPA that offers an incentive program for quality reporting. Many of the other specialists in my IPA don’t have a clue how to meet this requirement. Their specialty associations have not implemented similar programs. I was lucky that I had the Academy’s PI CME activities. It gave me the template needed to meet the requirements for the incentive bonus.

So, whether you need to fulfill MOC requirements or simply want an way to stay current with clinical guidelines, I highly recommend the Academy’s PI CME activities.

Dr. Dy practices dermatology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She attended George Washington University School of Medicine, and completed her residency at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota in 2006.