In a year when AOA specialty certifying boards are implementing osteopathic continuous certification, some DOs in the AOA House of Delegates are concerned that their state medical and osteopathic licensing boards may be developing different and onerous sets of requirements for maintenance of licensure (MOL).
The New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons submitted a last-minute resolution to the House calling on the AOA to oppose maintenance of licensure.
“Maintenance of licensure is burdensome and duplicative of the ongoing work that osteopathic physicians must do to maintain the highest quality of care,” the New Jersey association stated in the brief, to-the-point resolution.
Although the reference committee that reviewed the resolution recommended disapproval, the House ultimately voted to refer it to the AOA Bureau of State Government Affairs but only after lengthy debate on the House floor.
“There is an outcry of physicians opposed to maintenance of licensure,” said Robert S. Mauer, DO, of New Jersey, speaking against referral and for the resolution. “For whatever reason, there is a perception that the AOA favors MOL when most members do not.”
Hawaii delegate Ronald H. Kienitz, DO, also voiced opposition to referral. “Licensure has nothing to do with your specialty. I’ve been licensed since my first year of postgraduate training,” he said, insisting that it doesn’t make sense for licensing boards to develop requirements that mirror those of specialty certifying boards.
Speaking for referral and against the resolution, AOA Trustee Susan C. Sevensma, DO, noted that given the federal government’s focus on enhancing patient care and reducing medical errors, “this organization has values and needs to be involved in efforts to improve the quality of care and patient safety.”
California delegate Geraldine T. O’Shea, DO, stressed that it is important for the osteopathic medical profession to remain “at the table” in discussions with state licensing boards about maintenance of licensure. It would be counterproductive for the House to take a position against MOL, she said, speaking for referral.
“The state licensing boards have been studious in looking at this issue,” said Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, the president and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards, speaking for referral. “Osteopathic continuous certification and the AOA Clinical Assessment Program for Physicians are valued as part of maintenance of licensure. We welcome further discussion to explain the process.”