31. Assessment of clinical competence of the allergist/immunologist

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The assessment of physician performance is increasingly central to the practice of medicine. Participation in such assessment is a manifestation of adherence by the physician to the highest standards of professionalism. The goal of physician assessment is to assure patients and their families, the public, fellow physicians, and ourselves that we are continuing to perform at the highest levels possible. Traditionally, trainees have been assessed by their program directors, and the methods for such assessment are in place and have, in some cases, been validated against outcomes. Assessment of practicing physicians is a newer concept and arose as a response to the needs of physicians to demonstrate accountability and the demands of the public and regulatory bodies. The leadership of the medical profession and the certifying boards are committed to effective and appropriate assessment and are in the process of implementing physician assessments. To do so, multiple innovative and exciting new evaluative tools are under development. This review discusses the history, background, and current state of the art in this arena. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2003;111:S774-8.)

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