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January 2000

Reflections on the Renewal of Certification

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2000;126(1):15-16. doi:10.1001/archotol.126.3.377

A RECENT ARTICLE in the Chicago Tribune newspaper reported on the mandatory retirement of an airline captain effective on his 60th birthday. It's hardly newsworthy since it happens all the time—turning 60, that is. Every day, many professionals pass their 60th birthday and keep on working with unimpaired ability. However, few professions have as stringent a program to stay current and skilled as do airline pilots. They are, after all, entrusted with the lives of hundreds of passengers, and the industry should have programs in place to assure the public of pilots' competency to carry us miles high and return us safely to earth. Simulator sessions and "check rides" are the tangible evidence of their dedication to assuring competency.

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