Medicine: Self Diagnosis

The ceremonial speeches at medical conventions are usually sugared pills of platitudes. But in San Francisco last week, at the 29th annual meeting of the American College of Physicians, it was different. Doctors took a sharp look at themselves and disapproved of some things they saw.

Dr. Alan Gregg of the Rockefeller Foundation stuck a probe into the powerful specialty boards,* which certify doctors as specialists in the 15 recognized fields. The inbred, backward-looking boards, he said, give examinations that try to find out whether a candidate knows what the examiners know, not what the candidate himself knows; they stifle medical progress...

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