Rebekah Bernard MD and Niran Al-Agba MD|

There is an increasing double standard in the practice of medicine and the practice of advanced nursing, and one of these is the difference in ‘board certification.’  Nurse practitioners take just one board examination in the course of their career, which is 3 hours long and 200 questions. Nurse practitioners never have to take another exam – they just have to submit their work hours, which can even be volunteer hours.

In contrast, physician board exams are most more rigorous, lasting 9-10 hours or more, and must be repeated every 7-10 years. In 2015 the American Board of Medical Specialties added another layer to the process, requiring that physicians participate in a continuous “Maintenance of Certification” (or MOC) process to maintain board certification.

Many physicians balked at the increased burden and cost of this MOC process, and grassroots organizations even sprung up to provide alternate pathways to make it easier for physicians to practice medicine. Today we are talking with Dr. Paul Mathew, a neurologist and a board member of the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons.

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