The American Board of Medical Specialties, since its inception in 1933 as the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties, is concerned with the education, training and certification of physician specialists. Although not perfect, the initial certification process is quite good and accomplishes its intended purpose. However, initial certification is based on a primarily knowledge-based snapshot. The newly developed Maintenance of Certification Program™ will evaluate the competencies, medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practices believed to be necessary and sufficient for certified physicians to have and maintain throughout their entire professional career. Furthermore, the process will focus on education and assessment to encourage continuous quality improvement in clinical practice.

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