Implementation of a Professional Society Core Curriculum and Integrated Maintenance of Certification Program
Medical professional societies exist to foster collaboration, guide career development, and provide continuing medical education opportunities. Maintenance of certification is a process by which physicians complete formal educational activities approved by certifying organizations. The American Thoracic Society (ATS) established an innovative maintenance of certification program in 2012 as a means to formalize and expand continuing medical education offerings. This program is unique as it includes explicit opportunities for collaboration and career development in addition to providing continuing medical education and maintenance of certification credit to society members. In describing the development of this program referred to as the “Core Curriculum,” the authors highlight the ATS process for content design, stages of curriculum development, and outcomes data with an eye toward assisting other societies that seek to program similar content. The curriculum development process described is generalizable and positively influences individual practitioners and professional societies in general, and as a result, provides a useful model for other professional societies to follow.