The Advisory Board for Medical Specialties was established 25 years ago. There was, at that time, a growing concern because of the degree of specialization in medicine resulting from rapid advances in medical science and technology. The purpose of the board was to provide a mechanism for continuing study of some of the problems of specialism and to encourage and maintain standards of graduate education and training in those fields of medical practice in which highly specialized knowledge and skills are required. At the time the board was established, there were four organized specialty boards concerned with educational standards which offered examinations to test competency of specialists in these four medical specialties.
In 1958 there were 18 specialty boards represented on the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties, and these boards examined candidates and issued certificates in 51 different specialties or subspecialties of medicine. The proportion of licensed physicians certified by
Stebbins EL. WHY THIS CONFERENCE? JAMA. 1959;170(3):284–285. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010030028008
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