A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and the American Board of Pathology (ABP) recognize the rapidly evolving technological changes facing pathology and laboratory medicine and their far-reaching implications for patients. New approaches to patient care, such as personalized medicine, require pathologists to keep abreast of the latest advancements in pathology and laboratory medicine to ensure optimum patient outcomes. 

ASCP and ABP recognize that quality medicine and healthy outcomes are dependent on the social contract between society and the medical profession. The foundation on which this rests is professionalism, and it is this concept that reinforces society’s expectation that the medical profession will ensure the competency of each physician. Also ingrained in the social contract are the twin principles of autonomy and self-regulation, which enable the medical specialty to develop appropriate standards for education, training, and practice.

Key to assuring that pathologists maintain continuing competence are Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Maintenance of Certification (MOC). The central objective of CME is to develop, maintain, and enhance the competency, skills, knowledge, and professional performance of pathologists.  This should be accomplished through high quality, relevant, accessible, independent, and cost-effective educational activities that integrate life-long learning, continuous quality, and other strategic learning tools. Incorporating CME with MOC helps ensure the continuous competence of pathologists with the goal of improving patient care. 

The ABP supports professional self-regulation through on-going assessment of physician knowledge and practice performance. The ABP is proud to be a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ABMS and its member boards have worked for more than 80 years to ensure that board certification is an important indicator of physician quality—a gold standard. Board certification has been a hallmark of public and professional trust for a century and remains so today. Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is the evolution of what certification means to our profession and the public we serve. Physician participation in MOC demonstrates to the public a commitment to lifelong learning, continuous professional development, and provision of high-quality patient care.

The ASCP and the ABP believe that the ABP’s MOC program supports the social contract between the public and the medical profession to help ensure its place as a well-regarded, trusted profession. ASCP and ABP agree that the four components of MOC are vital to ensuring the continuing professional development of pathologists. Part I helps pathologists demonstrate professionalism and good professional standing. Part II ensures pathologists embrace lifelong learning to maintain the medical knowledge needed to remain current in the practice of pathology. Part III ensures pathologists possess the clinical knowledge, judgment, and skills needed to ensure the delivery of quality care. Part IV helps pathologists employ the continuous improvements in medical practice needed for successful patient outcomes.

ASCP and ABP are committed to furthering the quality of patient care through our well-aligned goals in support of the continuing education and certification of pathologists while minimizing the demands on them to fulfill these requirements. 

© 2015 The American Board of Pathology. All rights reserved.