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Fam Pract Manag. 2005;12(3):14-19

To the Editor:

Once again family physicians need to stand united. We failed to do so against the large insurers and managed care, and look where that got us. Now we need to band together and explain that if not for the diplomates there would be no American Board of Family Medicine.

I would like to know how many in the ABFM hierarchy have to bother with the maintenance of certification requirements. I suspect many have given up active practice. Perhaps if more had to be subjected to the process there would be improved communication and responsiveness on the part of the organization.

Perhaps we could ease our burdens by allowing the maintenance of certification process to be completed in a seven- to 10-year cycle. If a diplomate manages to fulfill those requirements in six years, he or she could have a one- or two-year grace period in each cycle to lay low before recertification starts all over again.

The ABFM needs to think outside the box, look at what is being required by other boards and find some middle ground. I am all for practicing great medicine and improving care, but at what cost?


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