Great News.... Doctors face retesting in specialty areas Associated Press / April 6, 2010 ATLANTA For the first time since leaving medical school, many doctors are having to take tests to renew board certification in their fields, 147 specialties from dermatology to obstetrics. Any doctor can deliver a baby, treat cancer, or advertise as a cardiologist. Certification means the doctor had special training in that field and passed an exam to prove knowledge of it. Doctors used to passed exams and be certified for life, but that changed in the 1990s. Doctors certified since then must retest every 6 to 10 years to prove their skills havent gone stale. For some specialists, like the doctors who push tubes into heart arteries to unclog blockages, this is the first year many are going through retesting. Older doctors also are feeling the heat. More than a quarter of a million of them were grandfathered with lifetime certificates, but are being urged to retest voluntarily to show they still know their stuff. Most dont want to do this. One who isnt grumbling is Dr. Stephen Mester, 52, a cardiologist at Brandon Regional Hospital in Brandon, Fla. I am choosing to renew. Its just an opportunity to maintain my skills and confirm to myself that I can do what Ive been trained to do, he said. Most of what I do today didnt exist, and some of it [was] not even thought of, when I was in medical school.