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August 30, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(9):789. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820350129011

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Within little more than a generation the amazing expansion of the medical sciences has made specialization in medical practice inevitable. The medical profession itself has assumed responsibility for adequate training of specialists. Moreover, it has recognized the need for establishing mechanisms by which the public may be able to distinguish those who are competent from those who are merely "self anointed." Fifteen examining boards are now functioning, representing as many fields of medicine. These boards examine candidates and issue certificates to those who are found qualified in their respective branches. Before examination the boards require a substantial period of preparation.

Primarily, the process of certification exists in order that physicians, patients, hospitals and others may be able to identify the well trained and fully competent specialist. The conduct of these boards should never be such as to cause them to be regarded as a means of creating, for limited practitioners,

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