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Dec 5, 2019

ASCO Daily News: Welcome to the ASCO Daily News podcast. I'm Lauren Davis. And joining me today is ASCO's past president, Dr. Julie Vose, world renowned expert in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Dr. Vose is the chair of the Hematologic Malignancies Exam Subcommittee, which determine the blueprint and testing points for the hematologic malignancies assessment.

ASCO Daily News: And we'll review the overall exam forms and their associated educational materials. She has been integral to ASCO's work to reimage maintenance of certification. Today, we're talking about the ABIM/ASCO Medical Oncology Learning & Assessment that offers physicians the choice of medical oncology assessments, a general oncology assessment, or disease-specific medical oncology assessments.

ASCO Daily News: Starting in 2020, diplomates can choose from three assessment options-- general oncology, breast cancer, and hematologic malignancies. Dr. Vose welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Julie Vose: Thank you very much. A great privilege to be here today.

We're glad you're here. The new MLLA begins in 2020. How is it different from prior years?

Dr. Julie Vose: Well, this is very important, as we've been working with ABM for quite a few years now to shape the future of education and our ongoing learning process. Way back when I was president several years ago, I started working with ABM to kind of remold or re-examine the MLC process, as it was found to be really quite burdensome, especially for people like myself who specialize in one specific area and haven't seen many of these different types of cancers for many years in practice. It's difficult to keep current. And then once you learn it, it's really not ever used. So it's kind of a waste, unfortunately.

Dr. Julie Vose: So ASCO's reimagination is tried to reflect and make it more of an ongoing learning process as opposed to a memorization and a process that wasn't very helpful to the participants. And I think that we've accomplished that with the new MLLA process to start in 2020.

ASCO Daily News: That's great. And what was the reason for the change from every 10 years to every two years?

Dr. Julie Vose: Well, every 10 years was really just to memorize a lot of things that have changed over a 10-year period. And it wasn't necessarily a learning process, an ongoing way. So every 10 years, things do change quite a bit. And we want to have ASCO members continuing on ongoing learning process as opposed to just a memorization process every 10 years.

Dr. Julie Vose: And I think that this really accomplishes that, as well as helps the people that specialize in specific areas to try to focus just on their area and still retaining knowledge of some of the general oncology principles that we all use every day.

ASCO Daily News: Absolutely. What has been ASCO's role in these changes?

Dr. Julie Vose: So ASCO's worked very closely with ABM in trying to mold these changes to the every two-year learning assessment that it can be done online with the assistance of some support as we would do in every day practice, such as up to date. And also that it wasn't so burdensome.

Dr. Julie Vose: You didn't have to go to a testing facility, didn't have to take a lot of time off work to do this or to necessarily memorize or study things that you don't use on a everyday basis. So we've worked very closely with ABM to try to have this process and an ongoing learning process. And I think that we've accomplished that.

ASCO Daily News: That's great. And how important is it that oncologists keep up with certifications?

Dr. Julie Vose: Well, certification is very important for us to maintain knowledge, to learn, to make sure that we can take the best care of our patients. It really shouldn't be used as a certification. And ASCO did not support it as a use of certification for conditions of licensure, insurance, or privileging processes. And so that's really not what we're after here. We're just trying to make sure that everybody can be as up to date as possible and to take the best care of patients as possible.

ASCO Daily News: That's terrific. Is there anything else that our listeners should know?

Dr. Julie Vose: Well, I think the process is ongoing. This, of course, in 2020 is the first year that it's been done, although it has been done in other subspecialties starting a little bit before this. So I think it'll be an ongoing learning process, and it may change over time. But as we also add additional subspecialties, such as in 2022, there'll be some additional subspecialties that'll be added.

Dr. Julie Vose: And this will be changed and modified and improved over the years. So I think over the next several years, you'll see a lot of improvements. And it'll be helpful in helping us to understand and to learn from every patient and to be able to help every patient in the future.

ASCO Daily News: That's great. It sounds like at the end of the day, this is improving patient care. Well, it's been a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for being on our podcast

Dr. Julie Vose: And thank you so much. And we'd look forward to working with ASCO and ABM and on this important change.

ASCO Daily News: And to our listeners, thank you for tuning into the ASCO Daily News podcast. If you're enjoying the content, we encourage you to rate us review us on Apple podcast.


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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.