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.

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Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine