The American Board of Medical Specialties, Evanston, Ill., launched a new program to make re-certification of doctors a "continuous process" including more-frequent testing of skills and online tutorials on quality of care, officials said. The "maintenance of certification" initiative represents a significant change from the current re-certification process that involves periodic testing of specialists every six to 10 years. The program, under varying stages of development at the association's 24 affiliated specialty boards, will focus on six general competencies, among them, patient care, practice-based learning and interpersonal skills. It is aimed at improving quality of care and underlying efforts to assess the competency of specialists, officials said. The affiliated boards are expected to submit preliminary plans by year-end. About 90% of all licensed physicians in the U.S. are certified by at least one of the association's specialty boards. -- by Michael Romano
Specialty boards overhauling doc re-certification
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