The evaluation of physicians is assuming progressively greater importance. Rightly or wrongly, health planners, legislators, and at least some of the public question the competence of physicians. Manifestations of this trend are the repetitious calls for mandatory recertification and relicensure. At least 15 states so far have introduced legislation that will lead to relicensure of physicians at regular intervals. All subspecialty boards except one or two have come out squarely in favor of recertification and one board, the American Board of Internal Medicine, has completed its first voluntary recertification process.
In this climate, it seems quite appropriate to talk about the evaluation of physicians. The evaluation of the general internist is not in any way unique, nor does it or should it differ appreciably from the evaluation of physicians in general. There are only a limited number of things that can be measured and only a limited number of techniques