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March 16, 2015
Academy to American Board of Dermatology: Let's change MOC
Dear AAD Member,
The AAD Board of Directors heard from members in recent weeks about your increased frustrations regarding Maintenance of Certification (MOC). We understand your concerns; we are listening and we seek to take action.
Many of you saw the recent statement from ABIM that they may not have gotten MOC “right” – and their decision to put MOC on hiatus while that certification process is being evaluated. The ABIM announcement serves as a catalyst for many medical specialties, including dermatology, to stand back, revisit, and rethink: "What could be done better for our own MOC?"
First, for those of you who reached out to the Academy asking that we take this matter under consideration, I want to remind you that the American Board of Dermatology (ABD), not the Academy of Dermatology (AAD), has sole authority over MOC. The American Academy of Dermatology and the American Board of Dermatology are two distinct, independent entities with different missions and functions. The ABD is the oversight entity that certifies dermatologists and governs the rules of MOC.
The Academy supports quality education that assists our members in meeting and excelling in their commitment to lifelong learning. Since MOC was mandated in 2006, the Academy has helped members navigate MOC by providing educational activities to assist individuals in meeting MOC requirements.
We understand that maintaining standards for professional competence and excellence is important to the physicians and the public. We respect the many hours of expertise and fine service the ABD provides our profession. It is a high mark of professional achievement to be certified by the American Board of Dermatology.
That being said, when it comes to the current state of MOC requirements, we hear your frustrations, share your concerns, and have reached out to the ABD to express these concerns. As we ask the ABD to reconsider MOC, the Academy also will need to rethink the activities we provide, the expense and the processes we have developed as they relate to MOC.
The Academy has been engaged in conversation with the ABD over MOC and other matters for some time. At the upcoming Annual Meeting, we will meet again with the ABD, specifically to address the escalating frustration of our members around this issue and find a better way forward.
We stand ready to work with the ABD to ensure that we are providing education and certification requirements that provide our members with relevant, high quality education, delivered in practical ways that positively impact patient outcomes without being overly burdensome.
We have heard you and understand that the status quo is not acceptable.
As current Academy President, together with Incoming President Mark Lebwohl, MD, we look forward to elevating your voices and addressing your concerns. If you have questions or concerns, please email me or Dr. Mark Lebwohl directly at

Brett M. Coldiron, MD, FAAD
President, American Academy of Dermatology