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Dr. Johnson

Time Clock Ticks for Voluntary Recertification

Monday, June 03, 2013

Lester Thompson, MD, FASCP, has regularly participated in ASCP’s educational workshops to keep pace with advances in the field since he was certified 21 years ago as a pathologist and has chosen to pursue voluntary recertification with the American Board of Pathology (ABP). The voluntary recertification program will accept applications through the end of June 2013.

“The idea that you can prove that you are still committed to the practice of pathology shows a level of commitment.”
—Lester Thompson, MD, FASCP

“The idea that you can prove that you are still committed to the practice of pathology shows a level of commitment,” says Dr. Thompson, who is on staff at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Woodlands, Calif. “I have seen hospitals, as well as medical groups, say their physicians are all currently recertified and that they have done so voluntarily.” 

Since he was certified by the ABP prior to 2006, Dr. Thompson essentially has lifetime certification. Beginning Jan. 1, 2006, pathologists were certified for 10-year periods and are required to participate in ABP’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

By attending ASCP Annual Meetings and educational workshops and subscribing to ASCP’s Case Reports, Dr. Thompson fulfilled 120 of the required 150 hours of continuing medical education (CME) and supplemented with educational courses he already completed ABP’s full 150-hour CME requirement for voluntary recertification.

“Pathologists who were Board-certified before 2006 are not required to participate in MOC, but the ABP encourages individuals with non-time limited certification to do Voluntary Recertification or voluntarily enroll in the MOC program,” says Rebecca Johnson, MD, FASCP, Chief Executive Officer of ABP. “Voluntary Recertification allows those with lifetime certification a way to demonstrate continued competency in the practice of pathology. Many diplomates use Voluntary Recertification to demonstrate their commitment to continuous professional development to their hospital credentials committee and payors.

The voluntary recertification process includes a secure examination for those who need it for licensure in their particular states. Each applicant who successfully completes the recertification process will receive a certificate of recertification as a diplomate of the ABP dated Jan. 1, 2014. The certificate is valid for 10 years. The lifetime certificate is not affected by Voluntary Recertification. After June 2013, diplomates who wish to recertify or are required to pass a secure examination for licensure purposes can do so through the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. For more information, visit www.abpath.org.


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