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Medicine and Public Policy |

Certification and Recertification: One Approach to Professional Accountability

John A. Benson Jr., MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Adaptation of the C. Wesley Eisele Lecture presented to the American College of Physicians on 26 April 1990. This paper does not necessarily represent the policies or opinions of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Requests for Reprints: John A. Benson, Jr., MD, American Board of Internal Medicine, 200 S.W. Market Street, Suite 1770, Portland, OR 97201-5719.

Current Author Address: Dr. Benson: American Board of Internal Medicine, 200 S.W. Market Street, Suite 1770, Portland, OR 97201-5719.


© 1991 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(3):238-242. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-114-3-238
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Professional accountability requires a self-regulating profession to set and maintain credible, useful standards for its members. Voluntary certification and recertification—evaluation by peers—serves the responsibility of the profession to establish and enforce its own standards. The goal of certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine is to improve the quality of medical care by ensuring that the certified internist and subspecialist possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to the provision of excellent care. Without a true constituency and with a valid certification process, the Board provides a credential sought by nearly every graduate resident and acceptable both to the profession and patients. Recertification now presents the opportunity to foster continuing scholarship and self-improvement throughout the career of an internist.

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