The American Board of Physician Specialties® Has Options for Family Medicine Physicians

Young doctor talking to a little girl in a wheelchairThe Board of Certification in Family Medicine (BCFM) is committed to the idea that family medicine physicians deserve to be certified in the specialty they practice. But that doesn’t always mean family medicine. Considering today’s healthcare environment, it’s not hard to understand why. Many family medicine doctors, particularly those in underserved or rural areas, have established their careers in other medical specialties to fill a community’s medical needs. The problem is that even though they may be highly skilled and knowledgeable practitioners, they often find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to career advancement.

That’s because, across the country, hospitals and other healthcare organizations overwhelmingly view physician board certification as a requirement for hiring, staffing privileges, and promotions. Where does this leave a rural family medicine doctor who is an expert in emergency care, or one who has vast experience and knowledge in obstetrics? Is it right to limit their careers and privileges, and thus, patient access, simply because of restrictive staffing bylaws?

At the BCFM, we don’t think so. We believe that talented and dedicated physicians should have some verifiable way, beyond their track record of patient care, to show that they have extraordinary medical skills in their practiced specialty. To that end, we offer family physicians an opportunity to earn board certification in a variety of medical specialties, including:

  • Family medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Family medicine obstetrics
  • Integrative medicine

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognize the governing board of the BCFM, the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), as one of three nationally distinguished physician board certifying bodies.

If you are a family physician looking for a way to show your patients, peers, and employer that you are an exceptionally skilled medical specialist, contact the ABPS. We’ll be glad to explain the eligibility requirements for certification through our Member Boards listed above and start you on the journey to more career opportunities.

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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.

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