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Physician Certification vs. Medical Licensure

Medical LicensePhysician certification and medical licensure are both vital for career advancement. Yet, the two are important for very different reasons. Here is the major difference: medical licensure is required, while physician board certification technically is a voluntary achievement. It is technically voluntary, because anyone who hopes to achieve meaningful advancement in the field of a particular specialty will almost certainly need to become board certified in that specialty. Whereas, everyone who practices medicine must receive a medical license from the state or states where they intend to practice.

One way to think about medical licensure and physician certification is to compare the process of becoming a practicing physician to that of becoming a professional racecar driver. At a certain point in your driving career, usually when you’re just starting out, you are required to earn a driver’s license in order to be on the road behind the wheel. But earning that license doesn’t mean you’re ready for NASCAR. Excelling at the highest levels of any profession requires experience and talent, and there are tried and true methods in place for measuring someone’s competence in a given field.

Similarly, once you have earned your medical license, there still is a lot of work to do in order to achieve physician board certification. And once you have accomplished the necessary work experience and training, you need a reliable, clinically based method of measuring your skill and knowledge in the core competencies associated with your chosen specialty. That’s where the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) comes into the picture. As one of the most respected multi-specialty board certification bodies in the United States, the ABPS provides licensed, qualified physicians the opportunity to prove their worth to potential employers, patients, and peers. To learn more about the ABPS board certification process, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.