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June 26, 1991

Periodic Physician Recredentialing

JAMA. 1991;265(24):3244-3245. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460240040011

To the Editor.—  Gellhorn's1 speculation that physician recredentialing and the assurance it would provide to the public might assist in medical malpractice tort reform is absurd. At present, physicians are subjected to strict licensing standards. In California, in addition to proof of medical school transcripts, original copy of diploma, certifying letter from the dean of the medical school, successful completion of FLEX (Federation Licensing Examination) or National Board examinations, and 1 year of supervised internship, the physicians are fingerprinted and computerized images are sent to local, state, and federal authorities, including the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Despite this, California faces a medical malpractice crisis. Recredentialing dodges true tort reform. Perhaps the attorneys should be "recredentialed."The bottom line for recredentialing of physicians should be improved patient care and/or decreased costs of patient care. However, no scientific study has been performed that demonstrates that periodic