Is Your Child's Pediatrician Boardcertified?

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Pediatrician

U-M studies find 78 percent of U.S. hospitals don't require board certification for initial privileging; only 41 percent of health plans use it for credentialing of physicians

Most parents assume that their child's pediatrician is board certified, giving them the peace of mind that the physician has the knowledge, skill and experience to offer the highest quality of care in the field.

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But many of those pediatricians practicing at hospitals or associated with health plans may, in fact, not be certified or may not have taken the proper steps for recertification, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Health System.

Results from two studies appearing in the Feb. 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) show that 78 percent of U.S. hospitals don't require board certification to grant pediatricians initial privileging, or permission to practice in the hospital, and only 41 percent of health plans require general pediatricians to be board certified at any time during their association with the plan.

"In a time when patient safety and physician competency is of great concern to the public, we were surprised to find that more hospitals and health plans were not requiring current board certification of their physicians," says lead author for the two studies Gary L. Freed, M.D., MPH, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the U-M Health System.

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