There are many factors that individuals consider when choosing a doctor. While many of these factors may be personal ones, such as gender, age, proximity, or reviews from friends and family, one of the most important factors is often board certification. After individuals graduate from medical school and complete their appropriate residency, they become eligible for licensure.
This is a state-issued permit to practice medicine that confirms the minimal training/competency requirements have been met. Board certification takes this a step further by proving the practitioner has exceeded that minimal standard in a particular specialty through extra education and study.
Pros and Cons of the Board Certification Process
The board is seen as an authority on the nationally accepted standards for physician knowledge and practice. Certification allows doctors to provide their patients with the best possible quality of care. However, the pursuit of knowledge does not end when a physician passes his or her board certification exam. Physicians must take steps to continue their education and pass tests on a regular basis to satisfy the maintenance of certification (MOC) requirement. This process is important because it ensures that physicians remain committed to improvement and continuing education. This provides physicians with an opportunity to further their knowledge in order to stay on the cutting edge of their profession.
Some, however, have begun to question if the process as it currently stands is fulfilling this goal. Many physicians feel that the necessity for continued education while practicing, on top of the demands of their job, create too heavy of a workload and create more stress than is necessary. Research provides evidence to support these claims. Statistics show that there is relatively little correlation between patient satisfaction and board certification.
Solutions to the Board Certification System
Disagreements in the necessity of board certification and the viability of the current system has led to several proposed solutions. Some believe that the testing principle should be eliminated altogether. Others suggest that board certification testing be done every 10 years, rather than more frequently. Some also criticize that board certification testing does not incorporate many important elements of the practice that are necessary to a good patient experience, such as bedside manner.
Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Assist Physicians in Matters Related to Board Certification
If you are a physician or a medical professional with questions regarding the board certification process, the Philadelphia health care lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. can help. Complete our online contact form or call 215-569-1999 to schedule a consultation. From our offices in Philadelphia, we serve clients in the Greater Philadelphia area, as well as those throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.