How qualified is your board certified doctor? The Wall Street Journal investigates what it takes to stay certified as a medical specialist

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How qualified is your board certified doctor? The Wall Street Journal investigates what it takes to stay certified as a medical specialist Becoming a board certified medical specialist can take years of additional education and training, when compared to being a primary doctor. Specialty boards years ago would give a doctor an exam and as long as they passed their practical and written portions, they were certified to practice their medical specialty. Years later, medical specialty practice requires more continuing credit especially as medicine and our technology becomes more complex. In the chiropractic profession, continuing education is a national obsession for the average chiropractor to keep their license, even in NJ which was one of the last states to require it. Chiropractic specialists are required to do additional training and retraining hours due to the growth and complexities of musculoskeletal medicine. Is the training that specialists now receive sufficient? For chiropractors, it is, especially for sports medicine. For medical specialties, who need to be able to access and use the current technologies, the Wall Street Journal evaluated the current recertification environment and wonders if it is sufficient for many of today's medical specialist. Check out the article here

Doctors face new requirements to keep up-to-date to stay certified

Doctors are facing new requirements to keep up-to-date in their knowledge and care for patients in order to stay certified by medical boards. The new requirements, called maintenance of certification, are controversial among some physicians. But they reflect growing evidence that doctors, who are now recertified every 10 years, need to be more regularly assessed for competence in a fast-changing medical world. While the 10-year retesting requirement still stands, the American Board of Medical Specialties has begun in recent years asking doctors to demonstrate more frequently that they are current in their medical knowledge. The group oversees 24 separate medical boards covering about 80% of licensed physicians. Maintenance-of-certification requirements vary among medical boards, but the programs are similar. One of the largest medical boards, the American Board of Internal Medicine, beginning this year is requiring the doctors it certifies to choose from a variety of activities at intervals of two and five years to maintain their certification. The board certifies internists and 20 other specialties covering 25% of U.S. physicians. Doctors can earn points toward maintenance of certification in several ways. They can take open-book tests to show they are keeping up with new developments in their field. They can undertake projects to improve care, such as evaluating how well their practice treats patients with chronic conditions. Every five years doctors must complete a patient-safety requirement and conduct a patient survey to help assess their communication skills. Read more