Physician Board Certification and the Care and Outcomes of Elderly Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction - American Board of Medical Specialties

The study examined the relationship between board certification, quality of care and outcomes in elderly patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Study findings revealed that physicians board certified in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Cardiology provided a slightly higher quality of care, as assessed by guideline recommended treatments for AMI. Despite higher uses of ASA and B-blockers in managing AMIs, there was no difference in mortality between board certified and non-certified physicians. Study limitations included the inability to determine that decisions regarding patient care were made solely by the attending physicians examined in this study, and the accuracy of board certification status as listed in the AMA Physician Masterfile. Although the study demonstrates a modest correlation between board certification and quality of the treatment of a life threatening disease the authors pointed out that even board-certified physicians had considerable room to improve the quality of care provided.

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