AMA meeting gets a dose of poetic justice

Reporters think they have it tough, but—during the annual American Medical Association House of Delegates meeting in Chicago—it's the AMA staff that must get the most done in very little time. And sometimes, apparently, sleep deprivation can make things can go from bad to verse.

Such was the case this week with good ol' Reference Committee C (PDF), which is tasked with processing reports and resolutions having to do with medical education—including its endless string of acronyms for continuing medical education (aka CME) offshoots. Commonly repeated terms in this year's meeting have included maintenance of certification (MOC), osteopathic continuous certification (OCC), and maintenance of licensure (MOL).

This year, the panel also addressed plenty of graduate medical education (GME) issues, such as resident work hours and resident "moonlighting" at other jobs in their off-hours (to help pay off those med school debts, you know). Every year, there are some folks who believe that med students and residents aren't learning enough about the topics that interest them, so this year there were calls to add lessons on pain, organ donation, autopsies, patient safety and more.

I could go on, but the agenda was cleverly summarized by Dr. J. Mack Worthington, professor, chair and clerkship director for the family medicine program at the University of Tennessee (Chattanooga) College of Medicine.

Worthington, who served as chairman of Reference Committee C, closed the committee's proceedings at the meeting by reading a poem written by Fred Lenhoff, one of the AMA staffers assigned to the panel.

MOC OCC and MOL (or, the Ballad of Reference Committee C)

Stop, drop, and extol

The excesses of MOC, OCC, and MOL.

Ask not for whom the workforce bell tolls:

It tolls for GME.

Tired of your gentleman's C?

Try pass fail—it's good for what ails ya!

Like rabbits, curricular mandates overrun the land:

Flopsy, Mopsy, and autopsy.

Pain education, organ donation,

QI for the medical student guy (and gal).

How now, health policy? Not odd to see you on this list.

Miss some sleep for moonlighting?

Indeed—sweet dreams deferred, too many loans incurred.

But the word on the street is: MOC OCC and MOL.

—Nice job, Fred (and to the rest of the staff as well).

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks.



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