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A Pacific Northwest support group for sufferers of Nontuberculous Mycobacterial (NTM) Infections and Bronchiectasis

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#1 2018-09-25 09:57:10

CynthiaF
Support Group Chair
From: Bellingham
Registered: 2016-05-30
Posts: 147

Is this physician really a specialist?

Found this article in Chest journal (Jan 1990) that discusses how to determine how well trained a "specialist" is.  Not all of us live near or can travel to see the top docs

Written by Edward M. Nielsen, B.S., B.A., Alfred Soffer, M.D., F.C.C.P.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.97.1.1a
Abstract
Full Text
References

It is January 5, 1990 and my patient is going to spend a few months in the Sun Belt. I wish him to be observed by a pulmonologist during this interval, and, depending upon his symptoms, there may be a need for cardiovascular consultation. Where can I obtain authoritative information on the credentials of physicians in the area in which my patient will reside?

I could refer to the American Medical Association Directory, but this provides no information on the location or extent of training in the specialties of medicine. It does not list certification in a subspecialty, and thus, there is no way to distinguish between “the self-styled cardiologist with board certification in internal medicine alone, and the cardiologist who has board certification in that sub-specialty.”1
For inclusion in the AMA Directory, physicians are asked to designate their areas of specialty on the basis of number of hours devoted to that area. “This self-designated, unverified information about specialty is included in the Directory … and appears to carry the imprimatur of the AMA.”1
Having failed to verify the credentials of physicians in this way, I could then turn to the Marquis Directory of Medical Specialists compiled for the American Board of Medical Specialties. However, there are a significant number of specialists who have not agreed to be listed in this Directory and there is another group who decline to supply any biographic data, including information on their training. Finally, and most important, “The group that is listed and does supply biographical information does so without any objective verification. The descriptions of residency and fellowship training come from the physicians, and not from hospitals and medical schools.”1
Though the two sources noted above offer more useful information than the citations listed in the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory, it is evident that there is an urgent need for comprehensive information on the status of physicians based upon objective verification.

Recognizing these inadequacies, the American College of Chest Physicians, several years ago, undertook to do something about it then … at least for the cardiopulmonary-specialist members of the ACCP The resulting ACCP Membership Directory and Referral Guide is a 900-plus page storehouse of information about over 14,000 ACCP members. Education, specialty training, board certification and current status are clearly and completely shown in the city-by-city geographic listing.

Additionally, a unique section categorizes the entries by specialty, so that it takes only a moment to find pulmonary specialists in Omaha, cardiologists in Miami, cardiovascular surgeons in Toronto. Because the world is growing smaller, these listings also extend to Paris and Sydney, Buenos Aires and Tokyo, Haifa and Belgrade.

The ACCP takes great pride in its stringent requirements for Fellowship. Those who are granted that deservedly respected Fellowship certificate have been thoroughly vetted. Their training and certification have been verified, their standing in the medical community attested by their peers. Their subsequent listing in the Directory is evidence of the high regard in which they are held by their colleagues.

In an often-confusing milieu, the ACCP Membership Directory and Referral Guide is an all-too-rare example of a truly useful reference source. The names listed are those of the best in the cardiopulmonary and allied specialties; the data shown for each are informative … and verified!

We think our pride is pardonable.

REFERENCES
Reade, JM and Ratzan, RM. Access to information —physicians' credentials and where you cant find them. N Engl J Med. 1989; 321: 466–468
View in Article | Crossref | PubMed | Scopus (5) | Google Scholar
© 1990 The American College of Chest Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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