Important Factors in Board Certification Recognition
Board certification recognition seems to mean different things to members of the medical community.
Because there is no across-the-board national standard when it comes to board certification recognition, the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) firmly believes that it should be based on the ability of the certifying body to adequately and accurately measure the skill and experience of a physician in his or her chosen specialty or specialties. The distinction “board certified” should reflect a physician’s mastery of the core competencies required to provide the best medical care possible. To that end, the Member Boards of the ABPS all maintain rigorous eligibility requirements and testing standards. Any physician who has earned board certification through one of our Member Boards has proven, through written, oral, or hands-on simulation testing, that he or she has earned the right to be considered an accomplished leader in the medical community.
In addition, board certification recognition should hinge on the willingness of physicians to adhere to the highest possible ethical standards. All qualified physicians who seek board certification through an ABPS Member Board are required to take a non-remedial medical ethics course once every eight years to achieve recertification. The ABPS is the only medical board certifying body to require such a course.
With a few exceptions, the various state medical boards around the country choose not to distinguish among the three largest physician board certification bodies – the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Osteopathic Association, and the ABPS. However, a small percentage of state medical boards have imposed specific rules for physicians to publicly advertise board certification as part of their medical credentials. It is important to remember that the Joint Commission does not formally recognize any board certification body, although its accreditation standards do state that physician board certification is an excellent benchmark and should be considered during the credentialing process.