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What is the ABHM (American Board of Hospital Medicine)?

ABHMThe American Board of Hospital Medicine (ABHM) was founded to provide physicians who have made a career working in hospitals the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the core competencies required to render the best treatment possible. The existence of the ABHM is an acknowledgement of the increasing importance of the hospitalist profession on the medical landscape in the United States.

The ABHM’s establishment was a natural response to the emergence of Hospital Medicine as a specialty in the 1990s, when a significant shift occurred to hospitalist-based care from on-call primary care physicians who managed their inpatients. Not even a nationwide shortage of hospital physicians has altered that model substantially over the years. One way to combat the shortage of qualified hospital physicians is for the medical community to embrace physician board certification through the ABHM, a member board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS®). Along with this, it is incumbent on the medical community (medical students and qualified primary care physicians, especially) to consider Hospital Medicine as an important and viable specialty.

The ABHM is a comprehensive board with its own standing, rejecting the notion of Hospital Medicine as a subspecialty. The ABHM was developed to respond to immediate needs as well as projected growth and changes to the nature of Hospital Medicine in the coming years. Here are just a few shifts that could occur in the near future:

  • The formation of more hospitalist group practices in the United States
  • The development of Hospital Medicine subspecialties, such as geriatrics and pediatrics
  • Greater leadership roles for hospitalists as hospitals expand their leadership acumen and expand their core body of clinical knowledge

The ABHM is the only board of its kind that is constituted and governed by hospitalists, not sub-specialists. For more information about the future of Hospital Medicine, or to learn about the ABHM eligibility requirements and exam schedule, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.