More than a decade ago, at a time when current and emerging tropical diseases posed growing threats to the United States, expert panels convened by the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded that medical expertise within the United States competent to address diseases of the tropics had declined. Recognizing a national need to encourage and enhance such, The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene developed a program to stimulate new postgraduate medical education in diseases of the tropics. The Society formally requested academic institutions within the United States and Canada to propose new postgraduate programs. To assure the quality of these new curricular offerings, the Society developed an outline of key areas of competency and agreed to offer an examination that would grant physicians a Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers Health. The certifying examination was to be an integral component of a program to stimulate academic institutions to provide instructional programs in tropical diseases and to encourage physicians to become trained, evaluated, and recognized for their knowledge of clinical tropical diseases and travelers' health. The Society's initiative to stimulate educational programs in tropical medicine is reviewed.