Sponsoring Committee: Membership and Professional Standards (MPSC)
Strategic Goal: Promote living donor and transplant recipient safety
Effective date: September 1, 2017
The OPTN bylaws state that transplant program key personnel must have current American board certification or the “foreign equivalent,” and cited experience must have been obtained at a designated transplant program or the “foreign equivalent.” The term "foreign equivalent" is unclear for members when assessing, if certain staff are qualified to serve as transplant program key personnel, and for the Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPSC) when evaluating membership applications and determining if a board certification or case experience performed outside the United States should be considered equivalent.
To address this problem, and after consideration by a Joint Societies Working Group, the MPSC proposes deleting the term “foreign equivalent” from the bylaws (except for vascularized composite allograft (VCA) program key personnel); permitting board certification by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in addition to American board certification; and establishing a new process for those individuals who are not American or Canadian board certified to qualify as transplant program key personnel. These proposed changes are anticipated to advance the OPTN Strategic Plan key goals of promoting living donor and transplant recipient safety and the efficient management of the OPTN. Changing the Bylaws to better reflect the training and experience expected of transplant program key personnel should contribute positively to increased transplant recipient safety. Additionally, removing the ambiguous term “foreign equivalent” and providing a detailed option to qualify as key personnel for those who do not possess American board certification should help promote the efficient management of the OPTN.