Message From The CMO
Gerard E. Francisco, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
The recent discussion in the news media about the board certification of physicians offers us an opportunity to examine the true value of certification. In addition to providing a framework for ongoing learning, certification ensures patients that the doctor guiding their care has knowledge and competence in a specialty.
Once physiatrists are certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), they are automatically enrolled in the board’s Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. To maintain their certification, they must report their continuing medical education, participate in self-assessment activities, complete practice improvement projects and pass the MOC examination every 10 years.
Certification assures patients that their physicians have the knowledge, skills, professionalism and experience to provide superior care. Although there are challenges in developing a meaningful MOC program, certification by the ABPMR identifies physiatrists who keep up with new knowledge gained through research conducted at TIRR Memorial Hermann and other top rehabilitation hospitals.
Physicians are the stewards who ensure that these new discoveries translate into improved outcomes. I want to congratulate the physiatrists who recently passed the brain injury medicine certification test. These fifteen men and women have demonstrated their competence in this rapidly evolving subspecialty field.
Taking care of patients is our privilege and our responsibility. We owe it to them to keep up with new knowledge and bring it to the bedside as quickly as possible.