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December 22/29, 2004

Physician Specialty Board Certification

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(24):2972-2974. doi:10.1001/jama.292.24.2973-a

To the Editor: I am concerned that the unpublished Gallup poll regarding public perception of board certification presented by Dr Brennan and colleagues1 may have had biased responses, depending on the wording of the questions. For example, one would expect patients to respond affirmatively when asked if board certification was important to them in selecting a physician. Similarly, most patients would rank highly the importance of a physician having current knowledge. More compelling would be an open-ended request that patients list things important to them in a physician, without specifically mentioning board certification. It may well be that most patients care far more about bedside manner, wait times, or ease of scheduling.

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