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Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181f5ce3c
Letters to the Editor

The Important Role of Medical Licensure in the United States

Irby, David M. PhD; Cooke, Molly MD; O'Brien, Bridget C. PhD

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Professor of medicine, vice dean for education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; irbyd@ucsf.edu. (Irby)

Professor of medicine and director, Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California. (Cooke)

Assistant professor of medicine, Office of Medical Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California. (O'Brien)

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In Reply:

Dr. Chaudhry provides an informative correction to our description of the history of state licensing boards in the United States. He points out that states did license physicians as early as the 1800s. Our reference to reforms in licensing that followed the publication of the Flexner Report1 in 1910 relates to the establishment of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) in 1912. We appreciate receiving his input, which arrived in time to modify our book,2 and we are pleased that his letter can be shared with the readers of Academic Medicine.

We concur with the innovations championed by the FSMB as outlined in his letter, especially the endorsement of a comprehensive overhaul of the USMLE, which corresponds with one of our recommendations in the book.2

David M. Irby, PhD

Professor of medicine, vice dean for education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; irbyd@ucsf.edu.

Molly Cooke, MD

Professor of medicine and director, Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Bridget C. O'Brien, PhD

Assistant professor of medicine, Office of Medical Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

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References

1 Flexner A. Medical Education in the United States and Canada: A Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Bulletin No. 4. Boston, Mass: Updyke; 1910.

2 Cooke M, Irby DM, O'Brien BC. Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass; 2010.

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges

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