About the American Board of Physician Specialties and Physician Board Certification

ABPS HistoryThe American Association of Physician Specialists Inc. (AAPS) was founded by surgeons in 1950, and incorporated in 1952, as the American Academy of Osteopathic Surgeons. The AAPS physician certifying body, the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), which certifies both MDs and DOs, has grown in stature over the years, to become one of the most prestigious multi-specialty physician board certification bodies in the United States, along with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association/Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (AOABOS).

The ABPS consists of 12 governing boards that oversee physician board certification for 20 specialties and subspecialties which is the official board certifying body for the AAPS. The ABPS was formed on the basis of the idea that patient care is enhanced by a foundation of inclusion when it comes to physician board certification. We readily accept qualified allopathic and osteopathic physicians. A big part of the appeal of the ABPS for physicians is the sense of community that comes with joining a large, inclusive, and diverse group of like-minded professionals and having a voice that matters in that group.

The ABPS community of Diplomates is built around the concept of interactive connectedness which encourages the sharing of knowledge and best practices. In addition to ample professional networking opportunities, each public member has the freedom and authority to act as a public advocate within the chosen specialty. Despite the “big tent” philosophy, board certification through one of the Member Boards of the ABPS is a monumental intellectual challenge for physicians. Eligibility requirements and testing standards are equally rigorous.

A physician who has achieved board certification through the ABPS will have thoroughly demonstrated a mastery of the core body of knowledge and skills in the chosen specialty at a specific time. The testing standards are valid, reliable, and psychometrically sound. In addition, the work ethic and dedication of ABPS board certified physicians can never be disputed. The standards for recertification are rigorous, and the ABPS is the only major certifying body that requires a non-remedial medical ethics course every eight years.

The ABPS is dedicated to ensuring inclusiveness in the physician board certification and recertification process. Contact us today for information about physician board certification in your specialty or subspecialty.

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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.

Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine