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Patients expect their physicians to undergo proper training and achieve certain standards. Research indicates that physicians who attain board certification after medical training provide better patient care.

Testing Clinical Knowledge and Judgment

Durning SJ, Dong T, Ratcliffe T, Schuwirth L, Artino A, Boulet J, Eva K. Comparing open-book and closed-book examinations: a systematic review. Acad Med. 2016; 91(4): 583-99.

Durning SJ, Ratcliffe T, Artino AR Jr, van der Vleuten C, Beckman TJ, Holmboe E, Lipner RS, Schuwirth L. How is clinical reasoning developed, maintained, and objectively assessed? Views from expert internists and internal medicine interns. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2013; 33(4): 215-23.

Lipner RS, Lucey CR. Putting the secure examination to the test. JAMA. 2010; 304(12): 1379-80.

Holmboe ES, Lipner RS, Greiner A. Assessing quality of care: knowledge matters. JAMA. 2008;299(3): 338-40.

Downing S, Haladyna T, editors. Handbook of test development. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 2006.

Certification is Associated with Better Care

Vandergrift JL, Weng W, Gray BM. The association between physician knowledge and inappropriate medications for older populations. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021 Aug 30. doi: 10.1111/jgs.17413. Online ahead of print.

Kinney CL, Raddatz MM, Sliwa JA, Clark GS, Robinson LR. Does performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation initial certification examinations predict future physician disciplinary actions? Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2019; Available Online Ahead of Print.

Gabriel RA, Kaye AD, Jones MR, Dutton RP, Urman RD. Practice variations in anesthetic care and its effect on clinical outcomes for primary total hip arthroplasties. J Arthroplasty. 2016 Apr;31(4): 918-22.

Jeganathan AN, Shanmugan S, Bleier JI, Hall GM, Paulson EC. Colorectal specialization increases lymph node yield: evidence from a national database. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016 Jul;23(7): 2258-65.

Turner JA, Fitzsimons MG, Pardo MC Jr, Hawkins JL, Huang YM, Rudolph MD, Keyes MA, Howard-Quijano KJ, Naim NZ, Buckley JC, Grogan TR, Steadman RH. Effect of performance deficiencies on graduation and board certification rates: a 10-yr multicenter Study of anesthesiology residents. Anesthesiology. 2016; 125(1): 221-9.

Gabriel RA, Kaye AD, Jones MR, Dutton RP, Urman RD. Practice variations in anesthetic care and its effect on clinical outcomes for primary total hip arthroplasties. J Arthroplasty. 2016; 31(4): 918-22.

Gabriel RA, Lemay A, Beutler SS, Dutton RP, Urman RD. Practice variations in anesthesia for carotid endarterectomies and associated outcomes. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2016; 30(1): 23-9.

Lipner RS, Young A, Chaudhry HJ, Duhigg LM, Papadakis MA. Specialty certification status, performance ratings, and disciplinary actions of internal medicine residents. Acad Med. 2016;91(3): 376-81.

Fleischut PM, Eskreis-Winkler JM, Gaber-Baylis LK, Giambrone GP, Wu X, Sun X, Lien CA, Faggiani SL, Dutton RP, Memtsoudis SG. Provider board certification status and practice patterns in total knee arthroplasty. Acad Med. 2016; 91(1): 79-86.

Fiorilli PN, Minges KE, Herrin J, Messenger JC, Ting HH, Nallamothu BK, Lipner RS, Hess BJ, Holmboe ES, Brennan JJ, Curtis JP. Association of physician certification in interventional cardiology with in-hospital outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention. Circulation. 2015; 132(19): 1816-1824.

Lipner RS, Hess BJ, Phillips RL Jr. Specialty board certification in the United States: issues and evidence. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2013;33 Suppl 1: S20-35.

Gray BM, Reschovsky J, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS. Do early career indicators of clinical skill predict subsequent career outcomes and practice characteristics for general internists? Health Serv Res. 2013; 48(3): 1096-115.

Reid RO, Friedberg MW, Adams JL, McGlynn EA, Mehrotra A. Associations between physician characteristics and quality of care. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170(16): 1442-9.

Curtis JP, Luebbert JJ, Wang Y, Rathore SS, Chen J, Heidenreich PA, Hammill SC, Lampert RI, Krumholz HM. Association of physician certification and outcomes among patients receiving an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. JAMA. 2009; 301(16): 1661-70.

Papadakis MA, Arnold GK, Blank LL, Holmboe ES, Lipner RS. Performance during internal medicine residency training and subsequent disciplinary action by state licensing boards. Ann of Intern Med. 2008; 148(11): 869-76.

Turchin A, Shubina M, Chodos AH, Einbinder JS, Pendergrass ML. Effect of board certification on antihypertensive treatment intensification in patients with diabetes mellitus. Circulation. 2008; 117(5): 623-8.

Chen J, Rathore S, Wang Y, Radford MJ, Krumholz HM. Physician board certification and the care and outcomes of elderly patients with acute myocardial infarction. J Gen Intern Med. 2006; 21(3): 238-44.

Pham HH, Schrag D, Hargraves JL, Bach PB. Delivery of preventive services to older adults by primary care physicians. JAMA. 2005; 294(4): 473-81.

Prystowsky JB, Bordage G, Feinglass JM. Patient outcomes for segmental colon resection according to surgeon's training, certification, and experience. Surgery. 2002; 132(4): 663-70.

Norcini JJ, Kimball HR, Lipner RS. Certification and specialization: do they matter in the outcome of acute myocardial infarction? Acad Med. 2000; 75(12): 1193-8.

The Public Expects It

Manning BT, Ahn J, Bohl DD, Mayo BC, Louie PK, Singh K. Spine surgeon selection criteria: factors influencing patient choice. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016; 41(13): E814-9.

American Board of Medical Specialties.Facts about the ABMS consumer survey: lifelong learning and other qualities in choosing a doctor (pdf). ABMS;2011.

Freed GL, Dunham KM, Clark SJ, Davis MM, Research Advisory Committee of the American Board of Pediatrics. Perspectives and preferences among the general public regarding physician selection and board certification. J Pediatr. 2010; 156(5): 841-5.

Brennan TA, Horwitz RI, Duffy FD, Cassel CK, Goode LD, Lipner RS. The role of physician specialty board certification status in the quality movement. JAMA. 2004; 292(9): 1038-43.