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Message from the CEO:

What Physicians Should Know about MOL
Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MS, FACP, FACOIThe U.S. health care system is in a period of flux and change, facing significant questions about its future. Among developments in recent years is a growing interest in the enhancement of patient safety, the measurement of quality outcomes, and improvements to systems and process.

As health care consumers have become more empowered and informed, they, too, have put a new emphasis on safety and quality.

Virtually every sector of health care is affected by these trends, and all of us with a stake in our system's future have an obligation to take note of them and respond appropriately.

For the nation's medical regulatory community, that means asking a fundamental question about the way we go about licensing physicians. How could our system be enhanced to improve patient safety and quality of medical care?

We believe the Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) concept, which promotes lifelong learning and continuous professional development as a requirement of relicensure, provides the right answer to that question.

The MOL system, now under development, will provide physicians with reasonable, non-burdensome pathways to fulfill re-licensure requirements in the future. Our goal is to benefit patients by ensuring physicians are staying as current as possible with advances in medicine.


As you read about our MOL initiative at this website, please keep several things in mind:

  • MOL will be well integrated with other systems. MOL is being constructed in a way that is carefully integrated and coordinated with activities of other accrediting and educational organizations, to ensure that there is no overlap or redundancy between their requirements and ours.

We are working closely with the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners and other leading health care organizations during this process to ensure that MOL minimizes burdens for physicians.

  • Many current physician-activities will contribute to MOL. At the heart of the MOL initiative is the principle that much of what physicians are already doing - ranging from participating in Maintenance of Certification, to taking Continuing Medical Education courses, to renewing hospital-based privileges - will be applicable to their fulfillment of MOL.

Physicians have told us they are stretched thin with requirements; we have heard that message and are taking it into account as we build the MOL system.

  • MOL will NOT require Maintenance of Certification (or its osteopathic equivalent, Osteopathic Continuous Certification - OCC) for MOL. The three systems of MOL, MOC, and OCC are independent of one another.
  • MOL will NOT mandate a high-stakes examination as a part of its structure. For physicians not specialty certified, or engaged in MOC or OCC, we will help identify activities that could satisfy MOL.
  • MOL is being constructed in a way that takes into account the wide variation in clinical activity among physicians. Among the nation's licensed physicians are professors, executives of health care organizations, policy makers and others in a wide range of professional niches. Recognizing this, the FSMB is working with health care organizations to create a system that fairly evaluates and assesses the activities of all licensed physicians. Many kinds of professional activities - outside of clinical practice-may be acceptable for MOL, and are being evaluated.

MOL is designed to better facilitate and document a physician's engagement with continuous professional development and lifelong learning. We believe this will provide a substantive contribution to our nation's effort to improve patient safety and better health outcomes.

There are many details still to be worked out, and this process likely will take time. The first components of MOL systems at the state level are still years away. In the meantime, we pledge to listen to physician input as we build this new approach to medical relicensure in the United States.

Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MS, MACP, FACOI
President and CEO
Federation of State Medical Boards