From the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
Maintenance of Licensure (MOL) is a framework for medical license renewal that recognizes the value of continuous professional development, including practice-relevant continuing medical education. MOL supports a physician's commitment to lifelong learning and contributes to improved health care.
The system is being developed by the nation’s state medical boards in response to recent trends and changes in our health care system, including a growing focus on enhancement of patient safety, the measurement of quality outcomes, and improvements to systems and processes.
As medicine continues to rapidly evolve and grows more complex, the need for lifelong learning and skills maintenance has increased. Research suggests physicians may develop deficits in important skills and knowledge the further away they get from medical school and residency training.
In contrast to the rigorous standards for initial licensure, however, state boards have historically had fewer requirements to ensure that licensed physicians demonstrate their skills throughout their professional careers.
In most states, physicians must show that they have obtained a certain amount of CME credits, but they are not required to get these credits in areas specifically related to their practices – nor are they required to demonstrate to their licensing boards what they have learned from such CME activities.
MOL provides a needed alternative to our current system, offering a framework that requires physicians to demonstrate skills and knowledge in their areas of practice on an ongoing basis – throughout their careers.
MOL is a practical concept that fits well as a part of the growing movement for continuous quality improvement in U.S. health care.
The FSMB, which represents the nation’s state medical boards, has developed a plan for MOL, with input from stakeholders throughout the health care system – ranging from medical regulators and members of the public to physicians and educators.
It is currently working with state boards to help implement this proposed new system, which is expected to evolve gradually in the United States in coming years.