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December 22/29, 2004

Physician Specialty Board Certification

JAMA. 2004;292(24):2972-2974. doi:10.1001/jama.292.24.2972-e

To the Editor: In their Special Communication, Dr Brennan and colleagues1 propose that a physician’s current certification status should be among the evidence-based measures used in the quality movement. The authors equate “certification” with the process and certificate of one of the 24 medical specialties comprising the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). However, there are other organizations that provide certificates to physicians which allow individuals to claim certification status. As an example, a parallel certification process to that of the ABMS is offered by the American Osteopathic Association, which allows many osteopathic physicians to become board certified. The Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists of the American Osteopathic Association has 18 certifying boards for specialties including family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and surgery.

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