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ABPS Board Certification Standards

Through a collaborative process that involves Diplomates of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) and other accomplished physicians, the ABPS has developed board certification standards that are among the most stringent in the medical industry. These standards ensure that every physician who earns certification through our Member Boards can present to the public as qualified physician specialists.

To be eligible to apply for ABPS certification, candidates must meet our general requirements in addition to the eligibility requirements that have been defined by our specialty boards. While these minimum standards vary depending on the specialty, standards established by each board are designed to signify mastery of the specialty’s core competencies. Furthermore, the ABPS places an emphasis on psychometrically evaluated testing, advanced training, moral character, and experience.

For certification in each specialty, ABPS requires a written examination consisting of multiple-choice questions. For several specialties, we also require an oral exam that provides candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skill in diagnosing and treating patients. All ABPS certifications address the technical knowledge, skills, and abilities essential to the performance of certified physicians and clinically relevant to the practice of their medical specialty.

Our standards for recertification vary depending on the specialty board. Typically, to become recertified by the ABPS, Diplomates and other qualified physicians deemed eligible must commit to continuing medical education, successfully complete a recertification exam, and participate in a non-remedial medical ethics program.

Founded in 1952 to recognize licensed physicians who have mastered their respective fields of medicine, the ABPS offers board certification and recertification standards that meet the healthcare needs of the public and help physicians achieve success in the continuously evolving medical environment. For more information about our standards, contact the ABPS.