Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MS, SM; Lance A. Talmage, MD; Patrick C. Alguire, MD; Frances E. Cain, BA; Sandra Waters, MEM; Janelle A. Rhyne, MD, MA
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M12-0364.
Requests for Single Reprints: Humayun J. Chaudhry, DO, MS, SM, Federation of State Medical Boards, 400 Fuller Wiser Road, Suite 300, Euless, TX 76039.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Chaudhry, Ms. Waters, and Ms. Cain: Federation of State Medical Boards, 400 Fuller Wiser Road, Suite 300, Euless, TX 76039.
Dr. Talmage: University of Toledo, 45 Exmoor, Ottawa Hills, OH 43615.
Dr. Alguire: American College of Physicians, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
Dr. Rhyne: South East Area Health Education Center, 1601 Doctors Circle, Wilmington, NC 28401.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: H.J. Chaudhry, P.C. Alguire.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: H.J. Chaudhry, S. Waters.
Drafting of the article: H.J. Chaudhry, J.A. Rhyne, S. Waters.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: H.J. Chaudhry, P.C. Alguire, S. Waters, F.E. Cain.
Final approval of the article: H.J. Chaudhry, J.A. Rhyne, P.C. Alguire, L.A. Talmage, F.E. Cain.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: L.A. Talmage.
Collection and assembly of data: J.A. Rhyne, S. Waters.
Chaudhry HJ, Talmage LA, Alguire PC, Cain FE, Waters S, Rhyne JA. Maintenance of Licensure: Supporting a Physician's Commitment to Lifelong Learning. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157:287-289. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-4-201208210-00478
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(4):287-289.
Initially focused on preventing the unlicensed practice of medicine by “quacks” and “charlatans,” state medical boards evolved necessarily over time to promote higher standards for undergraduate medical education; require assessment of knowledge and skills to qualify for initial licensure; develop and enforce standards for professional discipline; and, beginning in 1971, promote continuing medical education (CME). More than a century ago, state medical boards were instrumental in securing legislation that authorized them to refuse to examine graduates of poor-quality medical schools—even before the 1910 publication of Abraham Flexner's scathing indictment of proprietary schools, which hastened their demise and closure (1, 2). Twenty years ago, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) partnered with the National Board of Medical Examiners to create the 3-step United States Medical Licensing Examination (which includes a clinical skills component added in 2004) as a qualifying examination for initial licensure accepted by all state medical boards (osteopathic physicians typically take the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners).
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