Why Become Board Certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties?

Young mother and her child at the doctor's officeThe American Board of Physician Specialties® is a nationally recognized physician multi-specialty certifying body that takes a pragmatic approach to physician board certification. It goes way back to our founding in 1952 when a group of osteopathic surgeons who completed allopathic residencies were denied certification through the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) because they did not complete osteopathic residencies and then were denied by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) because they were osteopathic physicians. So, these doctors decided to establish a certification board—the ABPS—that didn’t discriminate based on training and truly tested a physician’s knowledge of the specialty.

The ABPS certified its first physician in 1960 and since then has certified and recertified both allopathic and osteopathic physicians in a range of specialties. Today, the ABPS has Diplomates in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, and many ABPS Diplomates have become leaders at renowned institutions. Furthermore, the ABPS is:

  • Recognized in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook as a choice for physician board certification
  • Supported by Verisys, one of the nation’s largest healthcare provider credentialing companies
  • Recognized by various state medical boards as a certifying entity that meets the higher certification standards they require

Stringent Eligibility Requirements Leads to Improved Health Care

At the ABPS, we believe that, as with other industries, more competition in board certification leads to more innovation and improvements. But we also believe that certification should be reserved for physicians who can demonstrate an exceptional level of expertise in their specialty. That’s why we maintain stringent eligibility requirements and have developed rigorous exams to ensure only the most skilled and dedicated physicians earn this coveted designation.

The eligibility requirements of the ABPS differ from specialty to specialty, but all ABPS Member Boards share certain general eligibility requirements, including:

  • Being in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the ABPS, being known in the community as an ethical member of the profession, and being an active practitioner in the specialty for which you’re seeking certification
  • Having graduated from a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine. International graduates must also hold a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
  • Holding a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

Benefits of Physician Board Certification With the ABPS

Once certified by the ABPS, physicians can expect several benefits. First, they become members of a distinguished community of like-minded professionals committed to offering the highest standard of patient care. With more hospitals than ever prioritizing hiring board-certified physicians, ABPS certification also makes physicians more marketable to employers. Furthermore, the ABPS works tirelessly to establish relationships with healthcare organizations, hospital groups, legislators, and other stakeholders to ensure that our physicians have a voice in the community and that patient care always takes priority over the business side of medicine.

Learn More About ABPS Board Certification

If you are a licensed physician researching board certification options consistent with how your specialty is practiced today, contact the ABPS to learn about our eligibility requirements and the additional benefits of ABPS certification.

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House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
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