Letters to the Editor

Richard J. Baron: A national standard

Regarding the July 15 Point of View “Angry physicians lose faith in board”: Treating patients is a tremendous responsibility. Board certification provides a nationally recognized standard for doctors to demonstrate that they possess the knowledge to practice medicine throughout their careers.

For approximately $200 per year, physicians have access to medical education and, every 10 years, an exam that assesses their medical knowledge.

Board certification is voluntary and, while the American Board of Internal Medicine does not control how others use the credential, we are proud that physicians and hospitals find value in it. We believe that certification remains an important way for patients to know that their doctors have met certain standards.

Research shows that board-certified physicians have better patient outcomes, including reduced mortality and fewer disciplinary actions than noncertified doctors.

It is therefore troubling that some physicians believe hospitals and other medical organizations should be banned from using board certification when deciding about how best to provide medical care for their patients. ABIM and thousands of doctors we’re actively engaging believe that physician-created standards help ensure better patient care.

Patients and their families should have the right to choose board-certified doctors.

Richard J. Baron

President, CEO, American Board of Internal Medicine

Philadelphia

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