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November 23, 1970

Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment

Author Affiliations

Executive Director American College of Physicians Philadelphia

JAMA. 1970;214(8):1553. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180080133021

In recent times, there has been much comment and discussion on guaranteeing to all patients the best quality of health care. Some enthusiasts believe all that is necessary is that physicians and other allied health professionals be required to attend a prescribed number of hours of medical meetings, postgraduate courses, or other activities in continuing education. However, no one seriously contends that such requirements assure clinical competence. No credit is given for reading journals or textbooks, listening to audio tapes, or viewing movies or television tapes.

There are also those who believe strongly that relicensure and recertification must be required. In this time of manpower shortage, it is difficult to believe that any physician would be deprived of his right to take care of sick patients. The important matter is that physicians be well informed on recent medical advances.

Most physicians are conscientious and dedicated to the best interests of