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On Being a Doctor |

Trial by Fire: First Medical Board Certification in Iraq

Raymond B. Bedgood, LTC, MC
[+] Article and Author Information

From Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia, Macon, GA 31210,


Requests for Single Reprints: Raymond B. Bedgood, LTC, MC, Gastroenterology Associates of Central Georgia, 420 Charter Boulevard, Suite 205, Macon, GA 31210; e-mail, raymond.bedgood@us.army.mil.


Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(5):355-356. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-150-5-200903030-00014
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9 January 2008

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Outsourcing physicians' credentialing tests not a good idea
Posted on March 13, 2009
Edward J. Volpintesta
No Affiliation
Conflict of Interest: None Declared

It is disgraceful that the Pearson testing company wouldn't refund Dr. Raymond B. Bedgood's application fee or even postpone his board certification test. Considering his unusual circumstances of being in the armed forces and stationed in a war zone one would expect that he be given particularly deferential attention.

This is just one example of what happens when the house of medicine "outsources" responsibilities that it should be overseeing itself.

Both the Pearson testing service and the ABMS are bureaucracies that do not have to trouble themselves with the human consequences of their actions. Their job is simply to comply with the charge given to them, that is, to administer a test, compile results, and report them. How doctors are affected is not a concern to them. There are too many bean counters with inordinate influence over physicians' lives.

Physicians' tests such as the boards should be administered by the American Medical Association. It is the largest physician organization and the only one that represents all physicians' interests.

Moreover, it is the only one whose moral compass is under the direct control of physicians.

Edward J. Volpintesta MD FACP

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