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Comment & Response
March 2015

The American Board of Pediatrics Should Close Up Shop—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1The American Board of Pediatrics, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(3):288. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.3112

In Reply I thank Dr Bergman for his letter and welcome the opportunity to respond to his suggestion that the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) should close up shop. Dr Bergman frames his major arguments from the perspectives of history, technology, and professionalism.

He writes, “When the ABP was formed in 1933, it was important for the public to have a means to identify physicians with special competence in the care of children. Now, numerous bodies (public and private) perform background checks.” In 1933, physicians could rely on a fairly stable knowledge base acquired during training to last a professional lifetime. In contrast, today’s parents are fully aware that medical knowledge changes much more rapidly. Hence, there is a public expectation of life-long learning, self-assessments, and the periodic demonstration of competence throughout a career.

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