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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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
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June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

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

The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine