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September 1987

Recertification: A Concept Without a Mechanism?

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(9):1006-1007. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860090104035

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To the Editor.—There is currently a great deal of alarming discussion about recertification. I, for one, abhor the thought of once again having to go before some eminent body, which might with a simple pass or fail vote decide whether or not I will continue the practice of medicine.

While I feel reasonably certain that the combination of the endorsement from my residency director, passing a written examination and then passing an oral examination, was a fair and reasonable means of assessing my knowledge and ability to go into the practice of medicine, I do not believe an examination 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, or even 42 years later can possibly be a meaningful assessment of my ability to continue as an effective practitioner.

Why then are we even discussing this matter? The answer, I assume, is that it is perceived that a small number of our medical group

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