“I just recertified this past year, so that’s an easy one to answer. The thing I found really onerous was the data collection. They have you create an Excel spreadsheet of every last thing you do over 6 months: every surgery, every office visit, every urinalysis, every ultrasound done in the office, every injection, and code for it, etc.
They say, ‘Just transfer it from your EMR—put it right here, boom!’ We weren’t able to do that. I have electronic medical records, but they didn’t sync up, and a lot of the doctors who have been practicing as long as I have are still on paper. It was very expensive, time-consuming, and utterly unnecessary.
It gave them information about my practice pattern, but I really think it was just data collection for them. Why in the world would they need to know every urinalysis I do? They may need to know the kind of surgeries I do, and my surgical volume. I can understand that, but not every patient visit. It was really irking.
The examination, the studying up, and reviewing everything—I think that’s good. I didn’t like it, but I think it accomplished its purpose. It brushed me up nicely and I feel better for it. So even though I didn’t enjoy it and it took a lot of time, I think it’s a reasonable thing to do.”
Frederick Snoy, MD
“I just recertified in the past year. There is a lot of pressure and a lot of weight placed on the examinations. A lot of it isn’t necessarily applicable to what we do every day in the office.
Even though I don’t see pediatric urology patients, I have to take an exam that has pediatric urology questions. I have seen suggestions that they are looking at perhaps trying to tailor the test more specifically to people’s practices. If you don’t see peds, perhaps that won’t be a part of your exam. That would make a lot of sense. I’d like to see them do something to make the process more applicable to our practice.
I did prepare, and it took a lot of time. I took a University of Chicago course on CDs. I think there were 50 CDs I would listen to while I was driving.
I know the role is to try to keep us up to date on our learning and our ability to continue to practice safe medicine and to keep up with the times. It would be nice, however, if there wasn’t really a big exam that had a whole lot of weight associated with it, because that creates a lot of pressure and isn’t necessarily applicable to keeping us up to date on medicine we actually practice.”
Brandon Rubens, MD
“I think they are already in the process of making this change, but the frequency in which we have to do things is cumbersome. Every 2 years, you have to go online at the American Board of Urology website and enter some patient information or answer questions about the way you practice. Every 2 years, you have to do some sort of module. It doesn’t take long, but you usually have to do something in June and repeat the process in October. Then 2 years go by, and you have to do it again, and it’s really nonsensical stuff.
It’s not anything important to how we practice. They pick a topic, such as erectile dysfunction, and you’re supposed to pull charts to review how you handled that topic—like, did you ask the patient x, y, and z? Did you do this? Did you do that? They’ll want you to pull five patient charts on that diagnosis, and I don’t know that people are actually pulling more than one or two. It’s basically busy work that’s not helpful; it’s a hoop you have to jump through just to say you did it. Every 2 years is a little bit much. At a recent recertification course, they said that would probably change to every 4 years soon. That would be helpful.
Another change I understand will reduce the pressure is that if a person is weak in a particular area, rather than not passing, they will be required to do additional CME in that area.”
Heather Stefaniak, MD
Green Bay, WI
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