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ABPS Physician Board Certification and Mitigating Hospital Physician Shortages

Hospital Physician ShortageThe American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) believes physician board certification in Hospital Medicine is one way to combat a shortage of hospital physicians in the United States. Many studies and surveys conducted over the past few years have helped observers of the medical profession conclude that there is – and will continue to be – a shortage of physicians in this country. While a lot of focus has been on primary care physicians, one survey of hospital CEOs conducted recently indicated that those executives are bracing for an existing (and worsening) shortage of physicians in hospitals, as well.

In that survey, conducted by the medical staffing company AMN Healthcare, 86 percent of the 400 hospital CEOs who participated acknowledged that they are currently recruiting physicians. In a related question, 94 percent of CEOs surveyed said that recruiting physicians is difficult and/or challenging.

The ABPS believes that one way to confront this challenge is wider acceptance of the career track for qualified primary care physicians to earn physician board certification in Hospital Medicine. To this end, the ABPS developed the nation’s only comprehensive and dedicated board of certification governed by hospitalists, the American Board of Hospital Medicine (ABHM). The standards of the ABHM and all ABPS Member Boards are indisputably rigorous, and applicants must pledge to abide by the organization’s code of ethics. In addition, to be eligible for hospitalist board certification from the ABHM, applicants must:

  • Have completed an approved ACGME, AOA, College of Family Practice of Canada (CFPC), or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) residency in family practice, internal medicine or emergency medicine AND
  • Hold current board certification in family practice, internal medicine, or emergency medicine through ABMS, ABPS, or AOABOS Member Boards OR
  • Be eligible to be certified by the College of Family Practice of Canada (CFPC), or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSC) OR
  • Have completed an ABHM approved fellowship program, or be an instructor in Hospital Medicine.

Other board certifications may be considered on an individual basis.

The shortage of physicians in hospitals must be addressed before it reaches crisis stage in the U.S. ABPS physician board certification in Hospital Medicine is one tool in the arsenal against this increasingly troubling development in the medical industry. Contact the ABPS to learn more about our mission of helping ensure patients receive the best care possible, or for more information about board certification through the ABHM.