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Many Internists Find Value in Board Certification

Sixty percent renew to maintain image and gain knowledge, study finds

MONDAY, Jan. 2, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Internists say they renew their board certification to maintain their professional standing and update their knowledge, a new survey shows.

But the survey also found that 23 percent of general internists and 40 percent of sub-specialists did not renew their internal medicine certificates, and 14 percent of sub-specialists did not renew their sub-specialist certificates.

Those who did not renew said the main reason was the process took too much time.

The survey was conducted by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians to identify the factors that influence doctors' decisions to maintain their certification and how they perceive the value of the certification program, called Maintenance of Certification.

Certification is awarded to doctors who are evaluated on knowledge, skills and attitudes by their peers, and is generally considered a marker of excellence.

Board certification is not mandatory, but is required by many of the best hospitals and medical groups, who suggest patients always select doctors certified in their various specialties.

Board-certified doctors display their credentials in their offices, and are listed on various Web sites.

The survey results are summarized in the Jan. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

More information

The American Board of Medical Specialties has more about board certification.

SOURCE: American College of Physicians, news release, Jan. 3, 2006
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