Board Certification Need

The Need for Board Certification is Acute!

Increasingly, efforts to boost quality and gain better value from the world’s most costly healthcare system are including attention to the Acquisition and Maintenance of Board Certification [AMBC], a little-understood but rigorous process by which physicians receive and maintain board certification.

For example, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, in laying out the quality portion of her three-part healthcare reform plan in 2008, specifically touted these programs as a key step in enhancing medical quality.

From the presidential campaign trails to hospital and health plan board rooms,  to ARRA, HITECH and the healthcare reform debates of 2016, the Acquisition and Maintenance of Certification [MOC] is a growing force in the healthcare industry today; and beyond.




ABMS-Podiatry Certification Program Stands Alone in International Standards of Accreditation

ABMS in Podiatry Now Recommends PODIATRY PREP.org

To underscore the vital importance of third-party accreditation in healthcare board certification standards, The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMS-Podiatry) has announced that it is the only podiatric certification program accredited by both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ABMSP is unique among podiatry boards in achieving and maintaining these important accreditations.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from more than 145 countries. ISO is a non-governmental organization established in 1947 and based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its mission is to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world, notably in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological, and economic activity. ANSI is the sole U.S. representative and dues-paying member of the ISO, and as a founding member of the ISO, ANSI plays an active role in its governance.
[Cognitive Knowledge is Now Replacing Mere Rote Memory]

Boards Update 2017-18


  1. Re-Certification Need

    I was on your website looking at your products. I am re-certifiying for my second 10 year recertification in foot surgery for ABPS. I originally took my Boards in 1992 and recertified in 2002 and 2012.

    I am not sure what materials to purchase for the 2010 recertification exam?

    Thank you for your help.

    Markus Giacomuzzi, DPM
    Texas Gulf Coast Medical Group

  2. Hi Doctor G,

    The comprehensive MOC library study guide is a great place to start with QAs for surgery [re-certification versions].

    And, I can assist; prn

    Thank You.
    Executive Director

  3. Dear Ms. Miller

    Thank you very much for your quick response. How did you know that everyone calls me Dr. G?

    Markus Giacomuzzi, DPM

  4. More on the Need to Re-Certify

    For the first time since leaving medical school, many doctors are having to take tests to renew board certification.

    For some specialists, this is the first year many are going through retesting. They used to do this once and be certified for life. That changed in the 1990s – doctors certified since then must retest every six to 10 years. Older doctors also are feeling the heat. More than a quarter of a million of them were “grandfathered” with lifetime certificates, but are being urged to retest voluntarily to show they still know their stuff.


    Research shows that what doctors think they know does not match what they do, and that performance declines with years in practice, two members of the American Board of Internal Medicine wrote recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    The authors of an opposing essay – a medical school dean, a professor who teaches primary care, and a practicing physician – complain that testing emphasizes recall of facts rather than making full use of available sources of information, such as electronic references and the Internet, as modern doctors are taught to do. The recertification tests are a work in progress.


    In the future, some boards plan to include assessment of a doctor’s communication skills with patients. Eventually, testing may include rating a doctor’s technical skills and directly observing performance. Continue at The Associated Press.


  5. Is There a Competent [Board Certified] Doctor in the House?

    A program at the University of California San Diego known as PACE – for Physician Assessment and Clinical Education – is being used by a growing number of hospitals and state medical boards to assess the competency of troubled doctors, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal special report on Innovations in Health Care.


    Will DPMs go this route for board certification?

    Ann Miller; RN, MHA

  6. ABMS Certification in Podiatry

    The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a not-for-profit organization, assists 24 approved medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians. ABMS, recognized as the “gold standard” in physician certification, believes higher standards for physicians means better care for patients.

    This organization now endorses us for all your podiatry board exam/licensure test needs.



  7. Board Certification – What Does It Mean?
    By Stephen Barrett, MD


    I live in a Florida city that has a high percentage of retired people and as a consequence, a large medical services population. In their advertising it seems almost all the MD’s are “Board Certified”, but the board is never mentioned. Somewhere, I heard that there are a few boards considered to be “legitimate” that require a high level of experience and recommendation, and who have passed stringent exams in their specialty. Somewhere I learned there are boards whose main purpose is to allow the use of “Board Certified” after the name. Could you comment on this? Is there a way to tell the difference?


    Because scope of modern medical knowledge is vast, most medical school graduates take additional training before entering clinical practice. Those choosing to become specialists take at least three years of residency training during which they are designated as PGY 1 (postgraduate-year-one resident), PGY 2 (postgraduate-year-two resident), and so on. The recognized standard-setting organization is the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS, which is composed of 24 primary medical specialty boards and six associate members: the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Council of Medical Specialty Societies, Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, and National Board of Medical Examiners. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) sets standards for osteopathic physicians (DOs) who undergo residency training at osteopathic institutions. (ABMS also certifies DOs who train at MD-run programs.)

    Medical specialty boards require high standards of training and performance and ensure them by rigid examinations. Successful applicants receive diplomas and are considered “board-certified.” They are also referred to as “diplomates” in their particular specialties. The number of ABMS-approved credentials has risen sharply during the past ten years. Certificates are now available for 37 specialties and about 75 subspecialties [1]. Most certificates expire within seven or ten years and require reexamination for renewal.

    Physicians who complete all requirements for certification except the examination may be identified as “board-eligible.” Although the American Board of Medical Specialties has officially abandoned the term, it is still in common use.

    In 1995, Medical Economics magazine reported that more than 75 boards not ABMS- or AOA-affiliated had issued certificates to thousands of physicians. Although a few of these self-designated boards are run legitimately and may eventually achieve ABMS or AOA recognition, most do not require residency training in their specialty. The author stated that “some physicians use fringe board certification to attract patients, who usually don’t know the difference. . . . And only a handful of states restrict the advertising of board certifications or specialties.” [2] Certification by any of the following suggests that a pracitioner is involved with dubious methods:

    * American Board of Chelation Therapy
    * American Board of Holistic Medicine
    * American Board of Environmental Medicine
    * International Board of Environmental Medicine

    Most physicians identified as specialists in the Yellow Pages have completed accredited specialty training. However, telephone directory publishers rarely attempt to verify credentials, so self-proclaimed specialists may be listed also. The ABMS Verification Service provides a simple way to check whether a doctor has ABMS-recognized certification. The Board also has been placing lists of board-certified physicians in many telephone directories, but many board-certified physicians are not included because they do not wish to pay the required fee (over $200 per year).

    Source: http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/QA/board.html


    1. ABMS Web site, July 1998. The list spans seven pages. To navigate, use the “Next Page Down” link at the bottom of each page.

    2. Terry T. Visit Vegas! Get your boards while you’re there. Medical Economics 72(3):26-36, 1995.

  8. Podiatric Board Certification and Career Advancement

    There are a number of certifying boards for the podiatric specialties of orthopedics, primary medicine, and surgery.

    Certification has requirements beyond licensure. Each board requires advanced training, the completion of written and oral examinations, and experience as a practicing podiatrist. Most managed-care organizations prefer board-certified podiatrists.

    Opportunities will be better for board-certified podiatrists because many managed-care organizations require board certification.

    Source: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos075.htm


  9. Physicians Face Expiration of Board Certification

    Click to access Physician.pdf

    Ann Miller RN, MHA
    [Executive Director]

  10. Is Board Certification a “Big Deal?”

    While controversy swirls over Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul not being certified by an accredited board of ophthalmology, there is a surprising lack of medical literature to support the assertion that board certified physicians achieve better outcomes, notes a recent piece in Physicians Practice examining some of the research.


    Until the 1990s, a physician’s certification in his or her specialty was good for life … [this included DPMs]. Now, a change in the law has some doctors across 147 specialties facing a retest of their skills for the first time since they left [podiatric] medical school.

    Read more: Some physicians facing test to renew certification:


  11. Hello!

    I am a sophomore preparing for the National Boards. Which, if any, of the products are recommended for this exam?

    Dieter Fellner


    Dr. Fellner,

    We have a PMLexis prep guide with QAs for PML II and III.
    We also have a library study guide product for PML II and III.
    Nothing for PML I yet; as the market is too small.
    Thank you for your interest.

    The Editors

  12. New Website Provides Docs’ Certification Info

    The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has begun publicly reporting whether specialists are meeting the continuing education requirements necessary for maintaining board certification. Seven member boards — the American Boards of Dermatology, Family Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Otolaryngology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery, and Surgery — are the first to report via the ABMS.

    Information is available on physicians certified by those boards at http://www.certificationmatters.org. Search results show the name of the certifying board, and a “yes” or “no” as to whether the physician is meeting the maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements for that board. A link will take the searcher to the certifying board’s explanation of its specific requirements.

    The remaining 17 member specialty boards will make maintenance of certification status available through the ABMS by August 2012. The MOC program “assesses and enhances [physicians’] medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, clinical techniques, and communications skills,” according to the statement.



  13. NBPME Update – December 2011

    NBPME Seeks Volunteers for Pilot Clinical Encounter Examination

    The National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners (NBPME) has reached a critical juncture in part of its effort to address the goals of APMA’s Vision 2015. The NBPME has spent more than a year of investigation and deliberation with the assistance of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) in their Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC) to determine the feasibility of instituting a test component for podiatric medical students comparable to that offered by CSEC to allopaths. The Board now needs the assistance of fourth-year students to participate in a pilot examination in Philadelphia next February.

    Pilot Program

    The pilot examination will involve ten patient encounters with typical podiatric presentations and will require a day to complete. The Board needs to test 100 to 200 candidates to obtain useable statistical data for consideration of whether to pursue a live examination in 2013. Students will be offered a $100 honorarium and entry in a drawing for an iPad. Interested students are asked to learn more details and obtain an application form at apmle.org. Charles Lombardi, DPM, chair of the NBPME committee reiterated the importance of this effort to the advancement of podiatric medicine. “This is an essential step in the NBPME’s contribution to Vision 2015. We hope students will take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to their profession.”

    Source: PM News #4320

  14. It’s time to look critically at the concept of board certification

    Re-broadcast by Edwin Leap, MD

    In 1994 I was thrilled to become certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. I had worked very hard. I studied and read, I practiced oral board scenarios and even took an oral board preparatory course. It was, I believed, the pinnacle of my medical education. Indeed, if you counted the ACT, the MCAT, the three part board exams along the way and the in-service exams, it was my ultimate test. The one that I had been striving for throughout my higher education experience.

    I am now disappointed to find that my certification was inadequate. In fact, all of us who worked so hard for our ABEM certification find ourselves facing ever more stringent rules to maintain that status. And it isn’t only emergency medicine. All medical specialties are facing the same crunch. Our certifying bodies expect more … and more … and more.


    But, what about podiatry today?

  15. Quick question

    Would u happen to have surgery boards for the American Board of Podiatric Medical Specialties?

    Thank you.
    Melinda Zellars, DPM


    Quick Answer

    Dr. Zellars,

    Yes, and we are endorsed by the [APMSB] AMSBPod.
    See page 19:

    Click to access PCPS.pdf

    Ann Miller RN MHA
    FARC, Inc



    Good to know and thanks.

    Dr. Zellars,

  16. MOC in Podiatry

    This week, a colleague and I were at our clinical staff meeting in which the subject of MOC (Maintenance of Certification) was the main agenda item. With the continued push of medicine towards quality measures, and related to future reimbursement, it was decided that all staff members will have to participate in their specialty MOC. This does not relate to just taking your re-certification exam, but rather to a 4-part process of continuous learning.

    This was rolled out by the American Board of Medical Specialties in 2006, and is being implemented in different ways across each specialty board. To my understanding, we as podiatrists have no such system. Does anyone have knowledge that this process is in development or on the radar for our boards? I believe this will become an issue for providers in the future.

    Elliott Hudson DPM
    Round Rock, TX
    via PM News #4,467

  17. Specialty Boards Set Time Limits for Certification

    In an effort to prevent physicians’ indefinite use of the term “board-eligible,” all member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties will limit the time that physicians have to undergo board certification after completing their residencies. Some of the ABMS’ 24 member boards already have certification time limits in place; the rest will complete a transition to time limits by Jan. 1, 2019.

    According to an ABMS news release, the organization has never recognized the term “board eligible”—a term some physicians use to signal to patients and prospective employers that they intend to seek certification, the release notes. Establishing time limits, according to the release, “makes it legitimate” for physicians to claim eligibility while preventing the term from being abused. Most of the time limits for the 24 boards range between five and seven years.

    Source: Andis Robeznieks, Modern Physician [5/31/12]

  18. Dr. Marcinko

    I need to take the oral portion of the ABPS foot certication exam. I have been out of training for a long time (14 years). What do you recommend?

    Also, I bought a practice 2 years ago that I really need to grow (collected 20% less than previous owner and year 2 growth was stagnant). Any suggestions on practice consultants, etc.


    John Swangim, DPM


    John Swangim, DPM

    Many thanks for reaching out to us.

    We have a SX study guide and SX oral questions; after that long you will likely need both. Just “confirm-reply” or use our order form and related info.

    And visit: http://www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

    Thank You.
    FARC, Inc

  19. ABPS MOC Program Qualifies Diplomates for Increased Reimbursement

    The American Board of Podiatric Surgery® (ABPS) has announced implementation of the ABPS Maintenance of Certification Program (MOC). In March 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the ABPS MOC program for participation in the CMS Maintenance of Certification Program Incentive for calendar year 2012.

    Through the program, ABPS Diplomates participating in the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and completing an approved MOC program are eligible for increased reimbursement.

    Source: PM News November 12, 2012 #4,610

  20. Changing the Rules For Board Certification

    I am a young practitioner coming to the end of my board qualification status. I am now getting ready to apply for my board certification exam, and I found out ABPS has changed the requirements. Specifically, they have changed the number of required cases overall, and they have excluded a number of surgeries that we are required to log, apparently for no reason. This change will prevent me from taking the boards this year, and thus my board qualification will be expiring.

    These changes will force young surgeons to potentially do inappropriate procedures just to reach the mandate. Again, specifically the board says a cheilectomy is not an acceptable procedure for board requirements. This may lead to podiatrists doing a procedure with longer recovery times and more potential complications just to get “our numbers.” I did not take the test last year due to lack of case diversity, and now this change.

    How else can the powers that be give podiatry a bad name? This is another case of podiatry eating their young and finding a way to give the screwgee to a young practitioner. Why not grandfather in the requirements for those eligible like they did for those already certified many years ago?

    Name Withheld via PMNews #4,662


    Changing the Rules For Board Certification (Name Withheld)

    I have been reflecting on the notion that you
    could load your 1st ray cases with cheilectomies
    (or any single procedure) and think that you
    have enough diversity to sit for the exam. I
    just want to share a bit of clarification.

    I presented my cases two years ago, and
    cheilectomies were not included as part of
    acceptable 1st ray cases, then. So, with regard
    to your gripe of suddenly having the rules
    changed, your complaint is really without merit.
    Also, ABPS is looking for diversity. They are
    looking for you to apply the particular
    procedure with appropriate pathology, not
    looking for how far you can push a particular
    procedure. If you turned in 30 chevron
    osteotomies, your application would probably be
    turned away as well, and that is an “acceptable”

    I recommend to you and any other person planning
    on sitting for the exam to go to ABPS.org and
    check what the rules are for submission, EVERY
    YEAR. It does not change alot from year to year,
    but it does change, and it just takes a few
    minutes during the holidays. There are some
    minor tweaks, but that’s why you check it each
    year. If you looked at ABPS 220 you would have
    noticed at least 3 years ago that cheilectomies
    could not be used as an acceptable procedure for
    condiseration of 1st ray diversity. I printed
    out the ABPS 220 in 2009 to see if I thought my
    diversity was adequate and it spelled out that
    cheilectomy could not be used for 2010

    ALERT: Neither a silver nor a McBride can be
    used either, now or then. I recommend taking the
    qualification exam again. Also, make sure all of
    your cases have diversity, from this point
    forward. But don’t forget, you could spend the
    next year or two making sure you have
    osteotomies and fusions, but get dung because
    your other 70 lack diversity, or you did not get
    the right post operative radiographs, so don’t
    get hung up on one procedure or one solution for
    every diagnosis. Good luck with your board
    preparation. It is not an easy process.

    Jeffrey Dull DPM
    Bay Minette, AL
    via PMNews #4,663

  21. Review CD for ABPS Re-Certification Exam?‏

    I am scheduled to take my ABPS Re-Certification written exam in 3 weeks. Although I try to study at night after long work days, I am not sure if I can cover all the pertinent materials in this short period of time.

    I am 52 y.o and taking my 2nd Re-Cert exam for ABPS. Do you have CD’s specifically for ABPS Re-Certification exam? If so, please send me an e mail so I my purchase it ASAP. (again, I am interested specifically in Re-Certification review only).

    Muhammad A. Khalid DPM, DABPS
    Washington DC


    RE: Maintenance of Certification [MOC]

    Dr. Mo,

    Yes, we have a comprehensive study guide with deep experiential QAs developed especially for the ABPS Re-Certification exam [Adobe Reader .pdf styled files for easy use].

    We recommend at least 3-5 weeks preparation with it; so you must not delay. The test is increasing in difficulty each year.

    And so, for your convenience, a PayPal invoice was sent to this address. The program will be delivered within 8-12 hours of payment receipt to your email address.

    Good luck.
    Ann Miller RN MHA

  22. CBPS Material

    I am in need of the new CBPS (computer based patient stimulation) review for rearfoot board qualification.

    ABPS has in the last 2 years come up with this new CBPS as part 1 of the surgical boards. Do you have a board review for this new section that ABPS has added?

    I passed the foot CBPS but now I have to retake the rearfoot reconstructions CBPS, since I failed the first time. And, according to all my colleagues all of them have also failed at least one section of the CBPS, due to the lack of review for this new format part of the boards.

    Do you have any review for this, as its 2.5 months away and trying to juggle work, time is limited.

    Please help.

    Dr. M


    Yes, and done!

    Many thanks for your order and good luck.

    FARC Inc

  23. Physician Group Sues to End Recertification

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) has filed suit in federal court against the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for restraining trade and causing a reduction in access by patients to their physicians. The ABMS has entered into agreements with 24 other corporations to impose enormous “recertification” burdens on physicians, which are not justified by any significant improvements in patient care.

    ABMS has a proprietary, trademarked program of recertification, called the “ABMS Maintenance of Certification” or “ABMS MOC”, which brings in many tens of millions of dollars in revenue to ABMS and the 24 allied corporations. Though ostensibly non-profit, these corporations then pay prodigious salaries to their executives, often in excess of $700,000 per year. But their recertification demands take physicians away from their patients, and result in hospitals denying patients access to their physicians.

    In a case cited in this lawsuit, a first-rate physician in New Jersey was excluded from the medical staff at a hospital in New Jersey simply because he had not paid for and spent time on recertification with one of these private corporations. He runs a charity clinic that has logged more than 30,000 visits, but now none of those patients can see him at the local hospital because of the money-making scheme of recertification.

    Money-making schemes that reduce access by patients to physicians, as “maintenance of certification” does, are against public policy and harmful to the timely delivery of medical care. AAPS’s lawsuit states, “There is no justification for requiring the purchase of Defendant’s product as a condition of practicing medicine.”

    Source: http://www.physiciansnews.com/2013/04/30/physician-group-sues-to-end-recertification-program/?utm_source=4.30.13&utm_campaign=11713&utm_medium=email

    The Editors

  24. Does board recertification do more harm than good?

    I continue to study for my third ABIM recertifications in both cardiovascular disease and cardiac electrophysiology. In preparation for the examinations, I purchased the review materials offered by the American College of Cardiology called ACCSAP-8 and took a surprisingly expensive cardiac electrophysiology board review course held in Chicago recently.

    I find I have little time to study all of this material while delivering patient care, so I’ve been getting up at 4:30-5:00am each day when …


    via Wes Fisher MD

  25. Richard,

    Many thanks for the call.

    Attached, with our compliments, is a new file we developed to further illustrate the emerging modern styled experiential QAs, with internal critique. Trust this is helpful for your re-certification study needs.

    PS: Try not to be paranoid.
    Be confident – You will do fine.
    Please confirm receipt.

    Thank you.
    Dave Marcinko


    Thanks doc.
    Feeling less paranoid already.
    Richard Weiss DPM

  26. Name Change for the American Board of Podiatric Surgery

    The American Board of Podiatric Surgery® (ABPS) will adopt the trade name the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS), effective July 1, 2014. The ABPS changed its name to American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery to clarify the anatomical scope of podiatric surgical certification to the public, insurance industry, and governmental organizations.

    The name change will not affect the board certification process. The ABFAS will continue to offer two certificates, Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery. Certificates will reflect the new name. Diplomates requesting a certificate with the new name will be able to obtain one at the current fee for a replacement certificate. Diplomates will have until June 30, 2017 to implement use of the new name.

    FARC, Inc

  27. MOC must go: One physician’s viewpoint

    One physician explains why the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program’s expense and time commitments cause greater complexity and more headaches for the nation’s physicians


    Ann Miller RN MHA

  28. Google Glasses,

    I was just wondering how long it will be before Skype, in OR proctors, or Google Glasses will be used to judge our surgical ability?


    After reading this article, now I know.

    Dr. Kyle

  29. Maintenance of Certification or Extortion?

    I trained in internal medicine and cardiology at the tail end of the era of lifetime board certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

    In fact, my timing was perfect – I was “boarded” in medicine in 1987, and in cardiovascular disease in 1989, which (I am pretty sure) were, respectively, the last years that the ABIM offered certificates without an expiration date in those disciplines.

    Continue reading → http://nslijmdblog.com/2014/01/16/maintenance-of-certification-or-extortion/

    Ira Nash MD

  30. APMLE Update

    General Exam Information

    The American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examinations (APMLE) are qualifying tests currently recognized or utilized by legal agencies governing the practice of podiatric medicine in the states, provinces, and federal agencies listed in the Candidate Bulletin. Legal agencies may, at their discretion, grant successful candidates a license to practice podiatric medicine without further examination.

    The National Board examinations consist of three objective examinations; Part I, Part II, and Part III, formerly known as the Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination for States (PMLexis).

    Part I is generally taken after the completion of the candidate’s second year of study. It samples the candidate’s knowledge in the basic science areas of General Anatomy; Lower Extremity Anatomy; Biochemistry; Physiology; Medical Microbiology and Immunology; Pathology; and Pharmacology.

    Part II is generally taken near the completion of the candidate’s final year of study. It samples the candidate’s knowledge in the clinical areas of General Medicine; Dermatology; Radiology; Orthopedics/Biomechanics; Surgery/Anesthesia/Hospital Protocol; and Community Health/Jurisprudence.

    Beginning in August 2014, fourth year students planning to graduate in 2015 will encounter a second component of the Part II examination. The Part II Clinical Skills Patient Encounter (CSPE) exam uses standardized patients in a clinical setting to uniformly measure abilities needed to enter podiatric residency. Through the use of a variety of clinical presentations, an examinee’s podiatric medical knowledge, proficiency in podiatric tasks, general medical knowledge, and ability to synthesize information will be evaluated. Verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills will also be evaluated.

    Part III is designed to determine whether a candidate’s knowledge and clinical skills are adequate for safe, unsupervised practice. The Part III exam samples the candidate’s clinical skills in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients. Examples of the application of knowledge may be measured through photographs, radiographs and case presentations.

    From: http://apmle.com/about-exam

    See more at: http://apmle.com/about-exam#sthash.IzH1ZI7Y.dpuf


  31. MOC changes aim to lessen burden on physicians
    [The Debate Continues]

    Despite new standards designed to address time and cost pressures associated with participation in maintenance of certification (MOC), many physicians believe the program represents one more expensive and redundant obstacle as they attempt to climb a mountain of other bureaucratic mandates.

    Full article: http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/moc-changes-aim-lessen-burden-physicians-debate-continues


  32. The alarming decline of internal medicine recertification pass rates

    An essay by Kevin Pho MD.


    The Editors

  33. The problems with making oral board recertification universal

    A loyal reader, who agrees with me that we may be teaching and testing medical students and residents the wrong way, asks why aren’t all board recertification examinations given orally.

    She correctly asserts that oral examinations are better because they assess how people think rather than how much they have memorized.

    Here’s why it would be difficult to do.



  34. Does Recertification Waste Time?

    The increasingly tough maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements are the latest emergency facing today’s physicians, many of whom feel that they are hemorrhaging money and time for no valid reason.

    The 10-year recertification exam has drawn stinging criticism from physicians who feel that it’s unfair, irrelevant to practice, and not a reliable gauge of physicians’ knowledge. Indeed, although numbers of exam-takers are increasing, pass rates are dropping.[3] In 2009, 90% of 4526 first-time internal medicine recertification exam-takers passed. In 2013, of 5772 internal medicine first-time exam-takers, only 78% passed. Many physicians feel that this points to serious flaws in the exam.

    In 2013, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) filed an antitrust suit in New Jersey federal court, claiming that MOC is a “moneymaking, self-enrichment scheme” that “restrains trade and causes a reduction in access by patients to their physicians.” The lawsuit focused on a New Jersey-based physician who was denied hospital privileges because he had not recertified. According to AAPS, “there is no justification for requiring the purchase of American Board of Medical Specialties products as a condition of practicing medicine or being on hospital medical staffs.”

    “AAPS feels that the medical recertification industry is a monopoly whose net keeps widening,” comments Dr. Christman, a past president of AAPS. He mentions that AAPS has received many complaints from physicians who have been forced into retirement because they didn’t comply with MOC or they failed the exam. “In light of the physician shortage, this is alarming.”

    Physicians News Digest 6.14.2014

  35. If docs are justified in MOC pushback, what next?

    In light of criticisms regarding maintenance of certification requirements, one physician offers a course of alternatives.



  36. Maintaining board certification


    Stop with the patient surveys; already.

    Dr. B.

  37. Docs Slam Recertification Rules

    Many specialists are balking at what they say are onerous new rules to get recertified, warning the demands will force some physicians out of practice at a time when the nation faces a shortage.

    Doctors say the new requirements have made maintaining specialty certifications a process that never ends. Younger doctors already retake the arduous certification exam every seven to 10 years to keep their credential, long considered the gold standard of expertise. But physicians of all ages must now complete a complex set of requirements every two to three years, or risk losing their certification.

    Supporters contend the new process will ensure doctors incorporate the latest medical advances into their practices, but many critics dismiss it as meaningless, expensive and a waste of time. To date, the highest-profile pushback to the new rules has come from the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which last year sued the American Board of Medical Specialties, and accused the organization of restraint of trade.

    “Medical knowledge doubles every eight years, and having a process where a physician does something once in their professional lifetime or every 10 years just doesn’t seem to cover what physicians need to know to take care of their patients,” said Dr. Mira Irons, senior vice president for academic affairs at the American Board of Medical Specialties, the group that owns the certification program.

    More: http://www.physiciansnews.com/2014/07/21/doctors-slam-recertification-rules-as-a-waste-of-time/?utm_source=Copy+of+Copy+of+7.17.14&utm_campaign=11713&utm_medium=email


  38. MOC – An onerous mandate or a safeguard to public health?

    Maintenance of certification is considered burdensome, expensive, and its impact on patient outcomes is debatable.


    In this special report, Medical Economics examines the costs and impact to physicians.


  39. More Doctors slam recertification rules

    Physicians who don’t complete requirements every two to three years risk losing their certification.


    Supporters say the process ensures that doctors incorporate the latest advances into their practices, but critics dismiss it as a waste of time.


  40. ABFAS Announces New and Expanded Case Review Requirements

    The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery Board of Directors has approved a set of changes to case review requirements that reflects current practice patterns and evaluates patient outcomes. Effective for the 2017 exam cycle is the expansion of eligible case subcategories used for the Part II certification case review process.

    The podiatry profession continues to evolve with more podiatrists performing rearfoot reconstruction, and trauma and limb salvage procedures. In response to the many changes in the profession and the need to expand case review categories, ABFAS took action to ensure that skilled podiatric surgeons who commonly perform sophisticated non-bunion forefoot and/or rearfoot/ankle surgery and reconstruction could participate in the case review process in a timely fashion.

    The expanded case subcategories and other details can be found here.



  41. ABFAS NEED and Fees

    Board certification, in this day and age, is a requirement to maintain insurance contracts and hospital privileges in almost all cases. Unlike days past, when certification was a badge of honor and optional, today, not becoming board certified can mean the end of a physician’s practice.

    Like any political world, our profession is intertwined among our state, the APMA and multiple certification boards. To challenge this, especially on a state society level, is a political hot potato. Even individuals appear to be fearful in using their names in posting commentary. The APMA, through the HOD, in conjunction with the CPME, gives the green light to the boards of their choosing. It then follows that states will transfer this decision to their individual licensing boards, and therefore the acceptance of hospitals and insurance companies.


    Jon Purdy, DPM

  42. Board Recertification?

    I am also interested to know if the ABFAS will develop some type of senior or honorary designation. I was initially certified by ABPS in 1993 and recertified in 2003. I did not recertify in 2013 because I was working part-time and not doing surgery; therefore, I was not on staff at the hospital or surgery center. I have now been in practice for 30 years and will continue (because of necessity) practicing. Due to losing by active certification, I was discontinued from my local physicians group that certifies one for insurance company membership.

    My intelligence/competence has not changed. I continue to keep updated. I know some of the Board members think that if you are not actively doing surgery, you cannot continue being certified. However, we did earn this title and there should be some certificate regarding this. I know my PHO would have accepted a letter or honorary certificate from the ABFAS so that I could maintain my insurance status. I am sure there are others in my position. Am I the last solo practitioner who wants to maintain a livelihood in all respects?

    DPM Name Withheld
    [via PMNews #5,759]

  43. EXAM PASS RATES 2017

    ABFAS Board Exam Pass Rate is Disparaging I have been a member of both the ABFAS and ACFAS for the last 20 years. However, I have concerns about both organizations as it relates to the podiatric profession and the certifying foot and
    ankle surgical board exam.

    If the ACFAS has been touting that we are the “the leading experts in foot and ankle care” based on their recent PR campaign “Take a New Look at Foot and Ankle Surgeons”, then they need to tell us how this is a fact if the passing rate
    is so low for the ABFAS board certifying exams.

    The ACFAS also goes on to state in this campaign “With more education and training specific to the foot and ankle than any other healthcare provider foot & ankle surgeons are the leading experts in foot and ankle care today. “With that said, I
    would have to say that this may be a hyperbole of fact as it relates to the ABFAS scores.

    To reinforce what I am saying and why I am so concerned, the ABFAS published in their recent Fall 2017 Newsletter the 2016-17 ABFAS Exam passing rates for first time and re-take for the test. The results of the Fall 2016 Part I FT
    didactic and FT CBPS a total combined average pass rate of sadly just 30% for both exams. Then the results for the Part 1 RRA didactic and CBPS total combined average pass rate of only 36%. And, for the Spring 2017 Part I FT didactic and
    CBPS total combined average pass rate was markedly higher at 70% and for the total combined pass rate for the Spring 2017 Part I RRA didactic and CBPS was higher than the Fall 2016 results with a total combined average pass rate of 58%. The ABFAS 2017 Part 2 FT Surgery CBPS Exam total average for first time and retake pass rates were only 57% and for the Part II RRA Surgery was a bleak 40%.

    Someone at the ABFAS needs to explain why this is the case? Why are these numbers so low as compared to our allopathic colleagues who we are trying to seek parity? The American Board of Orthopedic Surgery has a resounding average 90% pass rate for the Part I exam for 2016-17:

    i/exam-statistics.aspx and a 95% pass rate for
    Part II: https://www.abos.org/certification-

    I opine that there is something truly wrong with this picture. With the expanded curriculum that our schools have provided our DPM students along with the now required and mandated three year surgical residencies how are these scores so low
    for the ABFAS certification? Based on the latter, I thought that these ABFAS test results would be so much better than have been reported. The ABFAS seems to have created a test that does not allow the exam taker to show minimum competency in foot and ankle surgery, but rather has formulated one to exclude supposedly well trained podiatric surgical residents for becoming board certified by the only foot and ankle surgery certification board recognized by CPME and JCRSB.

    So, if such a low numbers are passing this exam after the first time and then after the retake, then why even have a three residency in podiatric surgery if this is the case? And those that never obtain board certification through the only
    recognized certifying surgical board in podiatry because the fail to pass the exam; what happens to them? Do they get on staff at a hospital and perform foot and ankle surgery if they are not board certified in podiatric surgery? I am confused!!

    If these results are so indicative of our efforts to obtain the parity that we so desire and the deserved respect for our allopathic colleagues, then these ABFAS test results as publicized are not helping matters. Something needs to change
    quite dramatically and there needs to be more accountability for the ABFAS and the other organizations such as the APMA and CPME who endorse them. There also need to become transparency for the powers that be that run these organizations. They need explain why this has happened in light of all the changes that this profession has gone through over many decades to prove that we are equal to an MD or DO.

    Joseph Borreggine DPM
    [Charleston, IL]
    via PMNews, November 30, 2017 #6,069

  44. ABFAS Board Exam Pass Rate is Disparaging

    I graduated from a 3-year residency program in 2013. I passed all my NBPME exams first time, I passed the ABFAS qualifying exams first time. Then I bought a non-surgical practice in a small town and set to work. I have spent 4 years building up my case volume and then was able to sit for the exam. I failed both the case studies and the computer-based examination. My hospital says I have to be board certified in a 5 year window. I’ve got one more shot at it in 2018.

    During residency, ABFAS lets you take yearly practice tests to be prepared for the qualifying exam, but not after residency. So, I went 4 years not taking a practice test and then finally being able to sit for it and failing it (They used to make you wait until your case volume was built up prior to taking the computer based exam). Just this year, I heard that ABFAS is allowing candidates to take the computer-based certifying part of the exam the year after passing the qualifying exam. This will help future graduating residents whereas the test type and content will be fresh on their minds. I’m pleased with this change.

    However, it is discouraging to be one who passed all NBPME exams first time, got a residency slot first time, passed my qualifying exams the first time and now I’m 4 years into my career with a young family to provide for and I have failed.

    I hope that ABFAS will take appropriate steps to approach the passing rates of the orthopedic doctors. However, over the past 3 years the passing rates have hovered around 70%. Again, keep in mind, that only 70% of people who have completed a residency program and passed their qualifying exams are passing the certifying exam. This is a problem I hope can be resolved. I will study new source materials and hope for a better outcome next year. The case studies and the inability to discuss why a certain procedure type was performed or how a complication was handled is an entirely different can of worms to be opened.

    Name Withheld
    via PMNews

  45. How long is the Podiatry Board Qualification Exam?

    The qualifying exam is [was] a very standard MCQ (multiple choice) format consisting of 200 questions. It was always a single best answer and the questions were not meant to be tricky.

    For the qualification/written exam, the questions were configured to test knowledge and not meant to create impossible to decipher decision making. In general, if you focused on your initial impression of the right answer; it was a good move. Not so much, in modernity!

    But now, enter CBT – Cognitive and/or CPC styled questions that are the emerging norm! So beware!

    NOTE: Pass Rates

    Based on best estimates, the pass rate for the Podiatry qualification exam was approximately [80-90] 85%. The traditional written exam was not difficult; so by focusing on the right topics and taking practice questions over a several month period – it was not hard to pass or greatly improve performance.

    NOW: With CBT – CPC and newer Cognitive questions emerging – the test is getting much more difficult. So, be aware!



    A Dying Exam Format that is still used.

    The Leitner Method for Maximizing Learning was developed in the 1970’s. Dr. Leitner was a German psychologist who developed a learning system that was much-like the humble flashcards of yesterday into an advanced learning technology.

    Our electronic copyrighted modification of this methodology teaches you to learn faster by playing a simple rote memory style of fast roulette QAs. Simple to learn, but incredibly effective, our material shows you this rote QA method in plain, easy-to-understand language; with hundreds and hundreds of rote memory QAs.



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  48. Hello. I will be taking the test for ABMSP for primary care. What software should I buy to study?

    • ABMSP for primary care version. We will email study guide to you following PayPal payment receipt. Thank you.

    • Please send your email address to: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com for security. Thank you.

  49. Hi. I just paid for your primary care podiatric board prep course. When will I receive the course?

    Kind Regards,
    Lisa L Cummings, DPM

  50. Applications Re-Launch for 2020 ABPM Board Examinations

    In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the ABPM Qualification Exam on May 19, 2020 has been cancelled. Instead, the Qualification Exam will be converted into a Qualification/Certification Hybrid Exam that will be administered on October 16, 2020. The hybrid exam will consist of 125 multiple choice questions (100 scored questions) and 9 clinical case scenarios (8 scored cases). Upon passing the hybrid exam, candidates will become Board Certified by the ABPM. All applications are available on the Board’s website and must be submitted by July 31, 2020.


  51. ABFAS Transitions to Continuous Certification in January

    The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) is making a major change to the way its Diplomates will keep their Board Certified status current. Launching in January 2022, the new program LEAD: Longitudinal Education and Assessment for Diplomates will replace ABFAS’ traditional, once-every-ten-years recertification and self-assessment examinations. All Diplomates will begin participating in the LEAD program in January 2022, regardless of certification expiration date.

    LEAD will allow Diplomates to participate in a self-paced online assessment of 30 questions per quarter, anytime and from anyplace, on any device. In addition, Diplomates will receive instant feedback on questions, as well as references and rationales, resulting in a process of continuous learning…with no need to travel to a testing center. Both holders of Time-limited Certificates (certified after 1990) and holders of Lifetime Certificates (certified before 1991) will participate in the LEAD program.

    Source: This Week@ACFAS [11/24/21]

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