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Medical Board Recertification Brochure

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As the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc, (AAPS), the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) requires recertification to ensure the medical competency of its diplomate physicians.

All Diplomates, in order to obtain recertification in a specialty, will participate in a regular schedule of Maintenance and Enhancement of Competency (MAEC) in their medical specialty.

The AAPS Board continually reviews and, as circumstances warrant, revises the recertification requirements. On November 30, 2004, the AAPS Board of Directors approved a set of revised recertification requirements consistent across all ABPS-certified specialties. Individual ABPS Boards of Certification may also revise recertification requirements for their particular specialty.

Areas of Certification

ABPS currently certifies physicians in the following 16 specialties:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Disaster Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family Medicine Obstetrics
  • Family Practice
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Surgery

Timeline for Meeting Revised Recertification Requirements

Revised recertification requirements go into effect for each physician when he or she recertifies.

Physicians who were last certified or recertified in 2001 or earlier have ten years since their last certification or recertification to meet the revised recertification requirements listed below. Physicians who were last certified or recertified in 2002 or later have eight years since their last certification or recertification to meet the revised recertification requirements.

The Standards

Annual Requirements

  1. An average of 50 hours of CME should be earned in each year of the certification cycle, with 25 of those hours being in the specialty. A total of 400 hours of CME must be reported to ABPS at the end of the eight-year certification cycle. If requested, the diplomate must provide ABPS with written evidence of the CMEs reported.
  2. An average of 50 questions of self-assessment CME Examination(s), as approved by the Board of Certification for the specialty, must be satisfactorily completed annually, except in the final year of the certification/recertification cycle. A total of 350 completed questions of self-assessment CME Examination must be reported to ABPS at the end of the eight-year certification cycle. If requested, the diplomate must provide ABPS with written documentation of the self-assessment CME Examination reported.
  3. The annual certification maintenance fee established by the AAPS Board must be paid by December 31.

Other Requirements:

  1. In the final year of the eight-year cycle, the physician must apply for recertification and pass a 100-question, securely administered, written or computer-based examination developed by ABPS.
  2. At least 25 of the CME hours received during the eight years prior to recertification must be obtained through AAPS-sponsored programs.
  3. Diplomates who are recertifying after 2011 must complete an AAPS-approved Medical Ethics Program at some point during the eight-year period preceding recertification. CME hours attained through this program may be applied to the annual CME requirement and, if offered through AAPS, to the AAPS sponsored CME requirement.
  4. All ABPS Diplomates must certify annually that all their medical licenses are full and unrestricted, and that they have not been convicted of a felony. All Diplomates must advise, in writing within 30 days, of any change to their licensure status.

The CME hours utilized for each physician’s state and hospital requirements may be applied towards the CME requirements for MAEC. The CME hours received through the self-assessments may also be applied towards the CME requirements.

To obtain recertification eligibility requirements or an application by mail, contact ABPS. The recertification application and further information about application deadlines and examination dates are posted here.