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August 1980

Why Recertification?-Reply

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn

Arch Surg. 1980;115(8):1003. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380080093023

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In Reply.—Drs Salot and Blacker have provided thoughtful discussions about my commentary. They correctly point out the limitations of written tests in measuring clinical competence. They also point out that the capable surgeon has many important characteristics that are difficult to measure and that cannot be documented by a multiple-choice question or examination. There is no doubt that many are concerned about the recertification movement as expressed by these correspondents. I would point out, however, that careful reading of the commentary indicates that, "The examination is only one part of the recertification process." There are eight criteria for recertification by the American Board of Surgery, only one of which is an examination. This examination will probably be no more or less valid than was the original certification examination. In addition, the examination can be prepared for by using the American College of Surgeons Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program SESAP

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