Background: The Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program proposed by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) gained approval in 2006. The implementation of this program will impact all physicians who are board certified. Therefore, The Financial Status of the Medical Boards is an increasingly relevant topic of discussion amongst all physicians and those interested in medical education and certification. With this study we aim to bring greater attention to the already publicly available financial status of the Medical Boards (MB) so that it can become part of the ongoing discussion of MOC.
Method: We analyzed the yearly revenue, expenses, net gain or loss and end of year balance for the ABMS and its 24 MB, additional member boards, as well as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) organizations.
Results: We have commented on notable trends based on the available IRS Form 990s spanning from 1997 to 2012. When comparing the most recently available reported end of year balance to the first available reported end of year balance, 87% (27/31) of the member boards have reported an increase. All three of the additional organizations studied, ACGME, AOA and ACCME reported an increase as well.
Conclusions: It is clear from the data and analysis that the majority of MB have financially benefited from the MOC program. It remains to be proven whether or not this economic benefit will translate into an improvement in physician education and patient care.