Background: In 2000, the American Board of Anesthesiology (Raleigh, North Carolina) began issuing time-limited certificates requiring renewal every 10 yr through a maintenance of certification program. This study investigated the association between performance in this program and disciplinary actions against medical licenses. Methods: The incidence of postcertification prejudicial license actions was compared (1) between anesthesiologists certified between 1994 and 1999 (non-time-limited certificates not requiring maintenance of certification) and those certified between 2000 and 2005 (time-limited certificates requiring maintenance of certification); (2) within the non-time-limited cohort, between those who did and did not voluntarily participate in maintenance of certification; and (3) within the time-limited cohort, between those who did and did not complete maintenance of certification requirements within 10 yr. Results: The cumulative incidence of license actions was 3.8% (587 of 15,486). The incidence did not significantly differ after time-limited certificates were introduced (hazard ratio = 1.15; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.39; for non-time-limited cohort compared with time-limited cohort). In the non-time-limited cohort, 10% (n = 953) voluntarily participated in maintenance of certification. Maintenance of certification participation was associated with a lower incidence of license actions (hazard ratio = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.94). In the time-limited cohort, 90% (n = 5,329) completed maintenance of certification requirements within 10 yr of certificate issuance. Not completing maintenance of certification requirements (n = 588) was associated with a higher incidence of license actions (hazard ratio = 4.61; 95% CI, 3.27 to 6.51). Conclusions: These findings suggest that meeting maintenance of certification requirements is associated with a lower likelihood of being disciplined by a state licensing agency. The introduction of time-limited certificates in 2000 was not associated with a significant change in the rate of license actions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine