What these California MDs did was undoubtedly bold and risky. Behind the scenes there was probably a significant degree of ugliness in the development of NBPS. But that probably doesn’t matter to cardiologists interested in reasonable MOC, since it would seem as though they are more interested in substance. Perhaps these behaviors are more typical of the personality selected in the cardiology subspecialty. I found in my year of medicine/medical school, that those destined for the cath lab were disproportionately self-governing and more interested in content.
Given the cardiology/ABIM context, the ease with which physicians agreed and trusted one another, as well as their preference for substance, I find ophthalmology’s response to Sen. Paul’s efforts to establish a competing organization dissatisfying. The ABO has a clear advantage in offering the public a standardized approach, and any pre-existing monopoly tends to have a clean-shaven face and a more-polished reputation.
Sen. Paul’s NBO was dysfunctional and poorly orchestrated. His family—mostly holders of a bachelors degree and sometimes unaware of their status in the organization—made up the board of directors. He wasn’t able to adequately represent or fully supply the criteria for his certification, and some have described the test as “open book.”
The NBO ultimately failed and was not recognized by any state organization, including Kentucky where certification is not required to practice ophthalmology.