PAMED Remains Aggressive in Tackling Physician Concerns Such as MOC

As was recently reported, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) delegation brought a Maintenance of Certification (MOC)-related resolution to the American Medical Association (AMA) at its 2015 Interim Meeting described by PAMED President Scott Shapiro, MD, FACC, FCPP, as “very bold and aggressive.”

The delegates at the AMA meeting adopted PAMED’s MOC initiative and proceeded to identify the boards publicly that have not followed AMA principles for assuring appropriate ethical management of their board or assuring for the public and their member physicians AMA testing principles.

This is an example of PAMED physician leadership in action achieving meaningful results.

“While this is a good start, there is still more to be done on this important issue,” said Dr. Shapiro.

“Several national sources have repeatedly presented the financial motivation behind the ABIM’s MOC process.  Pennsylvania physicians continue to express their extreme dissatisfaction with not only the ABIM but also with many other testing boards.  PAMED believes the stakeholder testing boards need to refocus their mission on we believe should be their core responsibility, academics. The Boards need to ensure for physicians and for patients a process that allows physicians to continue lifelong learning activities in a clinically relevant, time appropriate and cost effective manner.   Our advocacy work  at PAMED will continue until our members tell us that the MOC process works for them, isn’t punitive, and doesn’t cause the administrative burden it does now.”

“OUR PAMED needs to maintain an aggressive approach, with a laser focus, on all issues we all agree are important to physicians and patients today to help us better shape the dynamically changing landscape of medicine in Pennsylvania,” he told the delegates in his speech at the 2015 PAMED House of Delegates Meeting in October.

Members took to social media to comment on the action taken at the AMA Interim Meeting:

Medical Boards that do not follow @AMA standards for #MOC to be identified by the AMA via @sharethis

— Scott E Shapiro (@sshapiromd) November 17, 2015

Packed house at meeting on MOC updates and next steps at #AMAmtg @PAMEDPrez

— Michael Fraser, PhD (@PAMEDFraser) November 16, 2015

Pennsylvania leading the discussion on maintenance of certification. #PAMED #AMAmtg #MOC @sshapiromd

— Jill Owens (@jillowens) November 16, 2015

Though there is still work to be done, those efforts have already been successful in achieving a number of changes announced by the American Board of Internal Medicine earlier this year.

For more on PAMED’s efforts on MOC go to

Why is physician leadership so important? AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James Madara, MD, summed it up during his Nov. 14 address at the 2015 AMA Interim Meeting when he said that the pace of change in the health care system is rapid, but change is a human constant. “To deal with such change, physician voices must be as unified as possible,” he said. “Thankfully, physicians aren’t just watching. We’re actively working to shape the future.”

“When each of us entered practice we inherited the then current state of medicine. But that doesn’t mean we have to pass on the bad with the good to the next generations of physicians,” said Dr. Shapiro

“OUR PAMED continues to sharpen our focus on to those things that matter most to Pennsylvania physicians and patients. And most importantly, like never before, we are listening to and hearing from members across the state. What we are hearing is clear…you want a more active and aggressive PAMED. We are making that happen.”

PAMED Leadership on Other Physician Issues at AMA Interim Meeting

The resolution noted that insurer certification issues have resulted in restrictions on which companies are permitted to provide the equipment, information that is not known to the practitioner or patient.

Dr. Hall, an OB/GYN from Hershey, Pa., is a member of the PAMED Delegation to the AMA.

Another PAMED resolution aimed at assuring that Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit be provided by primary care physicians or members of a community-based, physician led team, and that they will provide continuity of care for the Medicare patients, was referred to the AMA Board of Trustees for study. It was determined that the issue was complex enough to warrant further study.  In brief debate during the AMA session, it was noted that the advent of mobile testing and involvement of clinics located at retail outlets was also as concern that  warranted study.

PAMED Leaders Have a Seat at the Table

The PA Delegation held officer elections. The following PAMED members were elected to a two-year term (1/1/16 – 12/31/17):

  • Chair – James  Goodyear, MD
  • Vice Chair – Stephen Clay, MD
  • Secretary – Judith Pryblick, DO
  • Delegate-at-Large – John Spurlock, MD
  • Alternate Delegate-at-Large – Virginia Hall, MD