As the health care world looks more closely at ways to measure and improve quality of care, the role of board certification has been emerging as one important method to ensure physician-level competence and accountability. The practices and standards used in identifying physicians for health plan panels and for hospital privileges have been less visible but currently are the only easily available and widely trusted initial screens of physicians that are available to patients. As public interest in physician competence increases, it is important to examine these basic standards for specialists.
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