In surgery, unprofessional behaviors have been shown to affect team and individual performance and result in greater risk for surgical complications and malpractice claims.1-4 Until now, there have been limited data to support early-career identification of surgeons at risk of unprofessional practices, which could guide potential prevention efforts. In this issue of JAMA Surgery, Kopp et al5 assessed the association between American Board of Surgery examination performance and subsequent severe medical license disciplinary action for 44 290 surgeons who applied for certification between 1976 and 2017 using linked data from the American Board of Surgery and state medical licensure boards. Surgeons who failed to obtain certification had a 3-fold increased risk of later severe disciplinary action compared with surgeons who obtained certification (hazard ratio, 3.38; 95% CI, 2.79-4.10). Interestingly, surgeons who failed either or both the written qualifying (QE) or oral certifying (CE) examination at least 1 time (32% of the cohort) were all at significant risk for subsequent severe disciplinary action even if they passed a repeated examination.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Kelz RR, Cooper WO. Protecting Patients and Our Profession. JAMA Surg. Published online March 18, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.0108
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: