Making revalidation credible

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 23 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1515
  1. Mike Pringle, professor of general practice (
  1. University of Nottingham

    Who wants revalidation? For a start patients do. They need to know that the doctor they consult is fit for what he or she claims to do. They want to know that their diabetologist is fit to be a diabetologist, their urologist fit to operate, their general practitioner fit for general practice. The idea that we get a lifetime licence to practise one year after medical school seems incredible to the public.

    I, and many other doctors, want revalidation. I want to be able to show that I continue to be good enough to be a doctor and to know that my colleagues are all fit to practise. I want to see an end to the undermining of our profession through unacceptable standards eventually revealed through patient complaints.

    A system of revalidation must identify poor performers and achieve two outcomes—protecting the public and supporting professionalism. If I am to put in the effort to be revalidated I want it to be time well spent. If we are to create …

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