ABU makes changes to reduce burden during pandemic

"During these times of uncertainty, panic, and social distancing associated with COVID-19, the American Board of Urology is sensitive to the additional stress this pandemic has placed on urology practices and urologists’ ability to meet their certificate requirements," writes J. Brantley Thrasher, MD.

Dr. Thrasher, a Urology Times editorial consultant, is executive director of the American Board of Urology, Charlottesville, VA.

During these times of uncertainty, panic, and social distancing associated with COVID-19, the American Board of Urology is sensitive to the additional stress this pandemic has placed on urology practices and urologists’ ability to meet their certificate requirements. Toward that end, we have elected to make several changes that we hope will reduce the burden on you and your practice.

For those who were assigned CME, based on remediation after the recertification exam, we have tried very hard to offer CMEs that did not require you to travel to the AUA annual meeting to obtain credit. Many of the offerings were webinars, instructional courses, or postgraduate courses that are offered online or even AUA Updates. If an offering at the annual meeting was your only option, we remain very flexible about allowing another option. Please contact the office with your proposal and it will be reviewed for potential approval.

For those diplomates recertifying this year and unable to delay a year, the log submission timeline has been extended. We have already received a significant number of log submissions but realize that some have had difficulties getting the information together with the ongoing strains on the health care system. Our office is also extremely challenged at this time trying to meet your needs and work remotely to process hundreds of logs and applications. To that end, we have extended the deadline to submit to May 15 for this cycle.

Additional changes to relieve stress and financial burden include extending the date for payment of annual certificate fees (ACF) from April 1 to July 1, with no late fee penalty. The ABU is transitioning immediately to digital payment via credit card for the ACF. After April 1, the ABU will accept ACF payment by credit card only. Multi-physician payments can be completed in a single transaction by calling the ABU office. This shift is only temporary. Additionally, the $5 credit card processing fee has been waived.

Speaking for all of us at the ABU, we hope these changes relieve some stress during these difficult times and allow you more time to concentrate on yourselves, your family, and your patients. Our office will continue to monitor this crisis and adjust as necessary, and we remain available to help you in any way possible.

We want to hear from you! Send comments to Dr. Thrasher c/o Urology Times at urology_times@mmhgroup.com