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November 2016

To Maintain Pediatric Competence, Walk With Our Patients and Families

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver
  • 2Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Denver
  • 3Family Voices, Lexington, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(11):1042-1043. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2524

Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm.

Hippocrates, The Oath1

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report on patient safety, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” highlighting the many ways in which our complex health care systems harm patients and challenging our profession to do better.2 One of the specific recommendations was “raising performance standards and expectations for improvements in safety through the actions of oversight organizations, professional groups, and group purchasers of health care,”2 a challenge that has been embraced by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties and its member boards, including the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). They promoted the concepts of lifelong learning and continuous quality improvement as the antidotes to what has been described as an epidemic harm caused by the health care system and began to require accountability in these areas for continued certification as practicing physicians, a process that has become known as maintenance of certification (MOC).3

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