Continuing Physician Professional Development
Do older physicians measure up?
Some experts say the aging U.S. physician population raises patient safety concerns. A story in American Medical News examines the delicate subject of when and how to monitor older physicians to assure patient safety.
The story also touches on the issue of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), which is now required by the 24 boards that comprise the American Board of Medical Specialties. These programs, however, "are not designed to detect the cognitive decline that can come with age," notes the article, and many elderly physicians earned their initial board certification before 1990 recertification and MOC requirements were instituted. For example, one in four internists certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine are "grandfathered."
The nearly 55,000 members of the AMA Senior Physicians Group are active in monitoring these and related issues. The section also advocates for reduced licensing and regulatory barriers to senior physicians serving as volunteers in free clinics, while recognizing the need for volunteer physicians to meet other qualifications for practice such as the pursuit of continuing medical education credits.
CME activities are among education program webcasts
Learn about physician leadership, engaging members of the medical staff to improve quality and the future of the medical staff organization by viewing new webcasts from the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section. Physicians can claim continuing medical education (CME) credit for watching the webcasts. Titles include:
- "Doing the right thing for our patients: leading as a professional" (1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™)
- "Engaging members of the medical staff to measure and improve quality" (1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)
- "Future of the medical staff: strategies for re-engineering governance and operations to advance clinical and strategic imperatives" (1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™)
AMA members can view these webcasts for free; nonmembers can watch them for $30 per credit hour. If you're not an AMA member, join today.
Register now for conference on CME provider/industry collaboration
Registration is open for the 23rd Annual Conference of the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration, Oct. 11-12 in Baltimore. The conference will focus on four significant forces shaping the future of CME provider and industry collaboration:
- Cost constraints
- Quality improvement
- Risk evaluation and mitigation strategy
- Maintenance of certification
The meeting will include expert analyses of how each force could positively or negatively affect the future of CME, with examples of best practices for catalyzing positive change. Collaboration Communities (new to the 2012 program) and cases will complement these expert perspectives to build practical and compliant recommendations for action to promote positive change.
Featured faculty include J. David Haddox, DDS, MD, vice president, Health Policy at Purdue Pharma L.P., who will offer the keynote presentation; and Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, who will present the annual Shickman Lecture.
Physician-led teams could mean greater safety, quality in care
A new blog post by AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, describes the need for better teamwork in health care—with the physician as the leader. "We get seven or more years of postgraduate training and 10,000 hours of clinical experience under our belts before starting in practice so we can ensure our patients will receive the safe, quality care they need and deserve."
Dr. Lazarus predicts that the new collaborative model will help health care move beyond battles over scope of practice. "Now is the time for physicians and other health care professionals to come together and agree upon rules for health care teams. By doing so, we can lay the groundwork for physician-led collaborative care—and ultimately ensure safe, high-quality care for our patients."