In Reply: We agree with Drs Wachter and Holmboe that board certification is a potentially powerful mechanism to reduce diagnostic errors. In our Commentary we sought to highlight a research agenda for the nascent diagnostic safety movement, and we encourage research into the effectiveness of board certification for reducing diagnostic error—a subject that, like diagnostic errors in general, has received little attention.1 We concur that enhancements to the certification and maintenance of certification processes should place strong emphasis on valid and reliable measures of diagnostic skill. However, ensuring diagnostic safety by this mechanism will not be a simple task.
Newman-Toker DE, Pronovost PJ. Diagnostic Errors and Patient Safety—Reply. JAMA. 2009;302(3):258-260. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1008