Peer Review—An Educational Necessity?

Rutledge W. Howard, MD
JAMA. 1973;225(7):731-732. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220340041012.
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Historically, peer review has had many uses, with equals double-checking equals for various reasons. One of its purposes in medicine has been to determine how well a physician is doing in his care of patients.

Peer review is carving a new niche for itself in the field of medical education, especially in continuing medical education. It is beginning to serve as a useful tool in helping physicians determine their educational needs and thereby to know what to learn that will improve their performance as practicing physicians.

Other modalities can be employed to assist the individual to identify his level of knowledge or the quality of his techniques, or even his lines of reasoning in patient care management. For example, self-evaluation techniques in these areas have been organized and refined by many of the speciality medical societies. Forums, conferences, seminars, workshops, courses, and other types of continuing medical education permit a


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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