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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-c

To the Editor: We believe that several points in the Special Communication by Dr Brennan et al1 deserve comment. First, the authors show that certification examinations correlate well with other measures of physician aptitude, but do not show that these examinations are more accurate or precise than other tests of physician quality. Tamblyn et al2 demonstrated that while several indices of physician quality correlated with scores on a certification examination, these indices were also correlated with testing done during medical school. Other research indicates certification examinations add little to earlier testing.3 We question the value of measuring the same thing in multiple ways.

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