Author Affiliations: American Board of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.
A self-regulating profession holds its members accountable to the public it serves for the continuous development of the competencies they profess to hold. A central component of physician competence is professionalism, which requires lifelong learning that leads to improved performance in practice. A medical profession accomplishes accountability by providing its members periodic measurement of performance using reliable and valid instruments and judging performance against evidence-based standards, providing graduate and continuing medical education (CME) programs that advance members' knowledge and skills to meet these standards, and publicly certifying those who do so.
Duffy FD, Holmboe ES. Self-assessment in Lifelong Learning and Improving Performance in PracticePhysician Know Thyself. JAMA. 2006;296(9):1137-1139. doi:10.1001/jama.296.9.1137