If you work in the field of medicine, we surely don't have to tell you about the importance of certifications. These documents allow people to separate a true professional from a quack or an amateur, so they are hugely important. These certifications are one of the things that separate a medical professional from others, so they have to be renewed from time to time. This is done so that regulatory bodies can verify the expertise of medical professionals and ensure that their skills have not diminished. Here are five of the things that make recertification so important in the medical field.
The main reason to get re-certified is obvious: Because you won't be allowed to do business otherwise! Every section of the medical field has some sort of regulatory/governing body, and these are usually the ones who administer certification and recertification exams.
For instance, if you happen to be a pediatrician, your profession is regulated by the American Board of Pediatrics, and that is who you will be dealing with when it's time to re-certify. There are third-party companies that can provide you with extensive study resources, like a MOCA-Peds study guide if you find these exams to be particularly hard and want to get a little extra help.
In some cases, you may need to undergo some pre-exam training. This might take the form of classes, a written exam, a practical exam, or a combination thereof. It is definitely recommended that you prepare yourself, as these re-certification exams are not free. There is a fee whenever you need to re-certify, and it will normally be somewhere between $1500 and $1750. These fees only cover one exam attempt, so you really don't want to fail.
Re-certification is also important because the medical profession changes with the passage of time. As technology improves, the medical field is usually among the first to exploit new advances. This is true because medical work often involves more severe consequences in the event of failure.
To put it another way: Failure can cause problems in any job, but a failure in the medical field can cost someone their life. That is why regulators have a fundamental obligation to make sure that all doctors and medical personnel are properly certified and up-to-date with the latest medical advancements.
The regulatory boards are not the only potential source of consequences here. If you are not properly re-certified, it can definitely affect the confidence of your patients. Not only is this bad for the business side of medicine, but it also keeps you from being recognized as a top-level professional. Only up-to-date certifications can be shown to prospective patients as proof of your credibility.
This factor isn't just about the money, either. According to this study, patient care is actually affected by the patient's confidence in their doctor. When they don't have faith in your knowledge, they are less likely to follow your medical instructions, resulting in substandard health outcomes. Further, a patient who lacks confidence in their doctor will be more likely to seek other treatment options which may or may not be helpful and which might even be detrimental.
These principles do not just apply to physicians, although we have focused on them so far. Re-certification is also very important for anyone else in the medical field, so let's not forget about them. If you work for any kind of medical service provider and you fail to re-certify to their satisfaction, you can end up losing your job. At the very least, they will have to suspend you until the necessary re-cert has been completed. Otherwise, they cannot take the risk of continuing to employ you.
No discussion of the medical field would be complete without a few words on the topic of medical insurance. These companies are the ones who pay for the majority of medical care received, so their policies can make a big difference. For example, let's consider malpractice insurance, which any practicing physician needs to have.
Malpractice insurance is meant to help medical professionals cover the costs of a malpractice lawsuit (should one occur). However, these policies require the insured to keep their certifications current. If they determine that you were not certified at the time of an alleged incident, they will not help you at all. Without those certs, it won't matter if you are guilty of any wrongdoing or not.
For these reasons and more, recertification is not optional in the least. You need to make sure that you keep up with this matter, as any lapse can affect you both personally and professionally. We hope that this article has answered all your questions and shown you the importance of keeping those medical certs up to date at all times.