Hal C. Lawrence III, MD, Executive Vice President and CEO
For the August Executive Desk, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight key items from ACOG’s July Executive Board Meeting, which was held in Washington, DC, on July 10. The Executive Board meets quarterly to discuss and review ACOG’s programmatic, business, and operational plans. In addition to our traditional meeting, we expanded the agenda to include a two-day strategic planning session.
US Midwifery Education, Regulation and Association (USMERA)-American College of Nurse of Midwives (ACNM) Project
Immediate Past President Dr. John Jennings and I reviewed the USMERA-ACNM project. Dr. Jennings recapped his experience and presentation during a recent meeting with ACNM. I updated the Board regarding ACOG’s position on midwifery education and certification and our joint statement of practice relations with ACNM. Many of the ACOG District Chairs raised questions about midwifery, especially certified professional midwives (CPMs). As a group, we discussed the acceptance of International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) criteria for 2020, and I reviewed the educational bridge criteria from 2015 to 2020.
Levels of Maternal Care (LMC) Task Force
I reported on the LMC Task Force, which was convened to explore implementing LMC via a nation-wide, state-involved verification program. Members of the task force include representatives from ACOG, ACNM, American Hospital Association, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Association for Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
The Board approved a motion that ACOG move forward in working with the Levels of Maternal Care Task Force to establish the LMC Verification Program. We will update you on this important program as information becomes available.
The Green Journal, including Changes to College Practice Documents
Dr. Chris Zahn, ACOG Vice President of Practice Activities and Dr. Nancy Chescheir, Editor-in-Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology shared information about upcoming changes to College practice documents. The Green Journal has been working with ACOG’s Practice Activities Division, Communications, and Publications to publish of a new summary format for most College practice documents (Practice Bulletins, Committee Opinions, Obstetric Care Consensus documents and Technology Assessments), while maintaining full-text electronic publishing for practice documents. These changes take effect in the September 2015 edition of the Green Journal.
Also for the Green Journal, we announce the Journal’s increased impact factor to 5.175, which continues to signify the value of this seminal ob-gyn publication. Another change to the Journal involves a new feature for Junior Fellows: Connect the Dots.
ACOG’s 2016 Annual Meeting
Dr. Sandra Carson, ACOG Vice President for Education, reminded the Board that our 2016 Annual Meeting, Take Charge of Health Care, will be held in Washington, DC May 14-17. It starts on Saturday and ends on Tuesday.
American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG)--New Limits for Basic Certification Eligibility
Dr. Larry Gilstrap, ABOG Executive Director, reported on the new limits for basic certification eligibility. Beginning in 2018, all physicians who have completed an ob-gyn residency must be ABOG certified within 8 years of the completion of their training. If a resident graduate is not certified by that time, he or she must complete a minimum of 12 months of additional training to regain eligibility for certification. All physicians who completed their training in 2010 or earlier have been notified of this requirement.
During the year of case collection for the ABOG Basic Oral Examination, the physician must be continuously in practice with a maximum of eight weeks of absence for any and all reasons. However, beginning with the 2016 oral examinations, a physician may apply for an exemption if a medical reason resulted in leave greater than eight weeks, but no more than 12 weeks. Maternity leave is counted as a medical condition for which the applicant may request an exemption. However, the total time away for all reasons (medical, vacation, failure to begin practice by July 1, etc.) cannot exceed 12 weeks.
ACOG Strategic Planning
Building on ACOG’s core strategic plan, the Executive Board and ACOG staff are developing operational strategies to further flesh out opportunities for ACOG to continue to evolve as an organization. The following four focus areas were identified at the July meeting: Membership, Governance, Finance, and Data. Work groups and facilitators are developing formal recommendations in each of these areas, which will be submitted for Executive Board review and approval during the 2015 November Board Retreat.