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December 10, 2014

Certifying the Good Physician: A Work in Progress

Author Affiliations
  • 1Press Ganey, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2014;312(22):2340-2342. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.13566

In recent decades, two important but distinct questions relevant to the evaluation of physicians have become increasingly intertwined. The first of these questions is “Who is good enough?” The second is “Who is trying to improve?” The latter issue has become critical due to the accelerating rate of medical progress and the growing complexity of health care delivery. In the current era, good physicians are defined by more than passing difficult tests early in their career; good physicians are individuals who are also working to become better—actively engaged in keeping up with medical progress and measurably trying to improve the care they provide.

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    1 Comment for this article
    The Start of A Conversation About MOC
    Howard Bauchner, MD | Journal of the American Medical Association
    Since the American Board of Internal Medicine changed their maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements early this year, the forms MOC takes and its meaning to contemporary clinical practice have come under intense scrutiny. Two studies in this issue of JAMA – http://ja.ma/1yI8A89 and http://ja.ma/1vLM38u - suggest no association between MOC quality measures. Despite these findings, Dr. Lee in this editorial suggests that physicians have a professional responsibility to have an MOC process in place. Do you agree? MOC has changed just as health care has. Is the MOC process any better or worse now than in the past? What should the future of MOC look like? We invite your comments on this and our other articles.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: JAMA Editor in Chief; not currently participating in maintenance of certification activities.