Doctors are practicing medicine in a rapidly evolving world. As medical technology advances and health care transparency and values-based care become the forefront of the healthcare industry, doctors face new guidelines and stipulations in regards to certification.
Within the last few years, medical boards have evaluated doctors’ medical competency and knowledge of trending technology. Years ago, when a doctor was certified in his or her specialty, they were board certified for life.
However, current studies by the American Medical Association show that a doctor’s clinical abilities decline over a period of time. Such studies have posed the idea of recertification for physicians.
Medical boards, such as The American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Medical Specialties, are requesting that physicians put their skills and medical knowledge to the test through a maintenance of certification.
In order to stay certified by medical boards, doctors can choose from different activities such as taking a test or conducting clinical projects within their facilities every two to five years. Richard J. Baron, Chief Executive of the American Board of Internal Medicine, states, "Physicians have an obligation to keep up with the latest in their field of practice, listen to their patients, look at their practice and improve."
Yet, recertification is undergoing harsh scrutiny by some physicians. Physicians worry that additional tests and projects within their practice will take time away from patients and will cause an additional financial burden. Currently, continued medical education courses are taken by physicians to maintain state licenses, although state licensing requirements are separate from board certification.
In April 2014, patients will be able to publicly view which physicians are staying up-to-date with their certification on medical board websites. For doctors who have not recertified, they will be listed as “not meeting requirements.”
As a locum tenens physician, it is essential for you to stay current on board certifications as you may have many specialties that allow you to practice at multiple facilities. Don’t’ forget to keep state licenses current so you can travel to many different regions!
To read more about the new requirements and doctor testimonials, click here. (WSJ)