Author Affiliations: Institute of Health Policy Management and Evaluation (Dr Detsky) and Department of Medicine (Dr Detsky and Mr Gauthier), University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network, Toronto (Dr Detsky); and Department of Economics, Stanford University, Stanford, California (Dr Fuchs).
Professions develop around the delivery of specialized services. Lawyers give legal advice, electricians install wiring, and teachers provide education. At some point in the evolution of a field, licensure or certification defines its area of expertise. Licensure is a legal entity allowing only certain people to perform a task. Certification is a non−legally binding designation that informs consumers of qualifications. Frequently, licensing and certification are performed by professional organizations that oversee education, training/apprenticing, and evaluation through examination.
Detsky AS, Gauthier SR, Fuchs VR. Specialization in MedicineHow Much Is Appropriate?. JAMA. 2012;307(5):463-464. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.44