ABPS Board Certification Standards

ABPS Board CertificationThrough 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.

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

ABPS gives its members unique opportunities to learn and develop professionally. I have been practicing Emergency Medicine for over 27 years and have been privileged to be a member of this fabulous organization. Through ABPS I have developed tremendously in my professional career becoming a consummate practitioner of my trade, a physician leader locally at my hospital, in my region , at the state level, and a published clinical researcher.
Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
ABPS provides a guarantee of a high level of competency. Not only has this been good for my professional development but it has assured my patients that the clinicians they see are trained to the highest degree.


Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Integrative Medicine
I value my ABPS certification very highly because it is one-of-a-kind certification in Urgent Care Medicine under the auspices of a larger, reputable organization. I really enjoy the professional and personal relationships I have formed with other individuals in the development of this new board and appreciate the great lengths that ABPS goes to ensure and enhance the recognition of it's component boards.
Joseph D. Toscano, MD
Urgent Care Medicine