Proposed AAPS Resolution on Mandatory Maintenance of Certification

To be considered at AAPS 67th Annual Meeting, Sept. 2010.

Mandatory Maintenance of Certification

Whereas: physicians are among the nation’s most rigorously trained professionals, and
Whereas: requirements for maintaining the skills needed to serve their patients vary greatly depending upon their patient population and chosen set of treatments offered; and
Whereas: no one is in a better position than the individual physician to determine how best to maintain the needed skills, and
Whereas: other professionals such as lawyers are not subjected to mandatory recertification requirements; and
Whereas: certification requirements are costly and time-intensive, requiring significant disruptions in availability of the physician for patient care; and
Whereas: there is no evidence that mandatory recertification results in any improvement in patient care; and
Whereas: there are significant conflicts of interest in agencies approved to set the requirements; and
Whereas: more than half of the highly qualified and respected faculty members of one of our best universities failed the mandated recertification examination, without any evidence that the problem was with the examinees rather than the examination; and
Whereas: constant externally imposed study requirements tend to enforce conformity rather than encourage the independence of thought essential for professionals; and
Whereas: mandatory recertification is likely to reduce access to care by encouraging retirement of physicians who are providing excellent, much needed care; and
Whereas: mandatory recertification empowers government and disenfranchises patients and professionals;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT:
AAPS oppose mandatory maintenance of certification, and encourage physicians to strive constantly to improve their care of patients by the means they find most effective.