March 17, 2015
1 min read

APA speaks out against Part 4 of Maintenance of Certification Program

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The American Psychiatric Association has urged the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to advocate to the American Board of Medical Specialties to remove Part IV: Improvement in Medical Practice portion of the Maintenance of Certification Program, according to a letter written by Paul Summergrad, MD, APA President, and Saul Levin, MD, MPA, APA CEO and Medical Director.

The letter, addressed to Larry R. Faulkner, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), acknowledges the APA’s concerns among members and work groups that the evidence base for the section of the program is limited.

Paul Summergrad

Paul Summergrad

“In addition, APA members have found Part IV to be onerous, cumbersome and not meaningful,” Summergrad and Levin wrote. “While we very much appreciate ABPN leadership’s efforts to create alternative pathways for meeting this requirement, neither our members nor the APA Board of Trustees support the continuation of Part IV of [Maintenance of Certification].”

The APA submitted the following motion to the ABPN for review:

  • “The APA Board of Trustees, acting on the recommendation of the Assembly Executive Committee, and representing over 36,000 psychiatrists, supports the elimination of Part IV of Maintenance of Certification (MOC).
  • Therefore, the Board of Trustees recommends to the ABPN that they lobby and advocate the American Board of Medical Specialties to eliminate Part IV of the MOC [and] that the APA reaffirm its commitment to lifelong learning and quality improvement and support for the highest scientific and ethical standards of medical practice.
  • The APA will establish a joint Board and Assembly Work Group with the charge to evaluate the broad issue of maintenance of certification for psychiatry and its relationship to maintenance of state licensure and other accrediting bodies. The goal of the work group is to return timely reports to the Board and Assembly including recommendations, if appropriate, for any positions the APA should take regarding any and all parts of MOC.”


Summergrad P, et al. American Psychiatric Association. Psychiatric News Alert. APA Urges Elimination of Part 4 of Maintenance of Certification. Available at: Accessed March 17, 2015.