Older physicians would rather quit than recertify

Twenty-three percent of general internists and 40 percent of subspecialists are not renewing their internal medicine board certification, according to new research in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Older physicians in particular would rather give up practicing than recertify, faced with extensive requirements and time commitment challenges.

According a 2009 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) survey, only 30 percent reported recertification improved their performance as physicians; only 22 percent would voluntarily do it again.

"Recertification has become a cottage industry of bureaucrats and testing agencies, dragging with them a few university physicians," said AAPS President Lee Hieb.

Accrediting bodies increasingly require continuous physician competency, and more boards require certification. Hesitant physicians exiting practice could pose a significant problem that would leave a vacuum for physicians during times of shortage.

To learn more:
- read the AAPS press release
- here's the AAPS study (.pdf)
- check out the AAPS 2009 survey (.pdf)

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