American Board of Physician Specialties Offers a Pragmatic Approach to Board Certification

As one of the highest honors physicians can earn, board certification serves to validate a physician’s skills and knowledge. It’s a completely voluntary process marked by rigor and relevance, particularly in the case of certification at the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). Like other prominent certification boards, our eligibility requirements are stringent, and our candidates must pass a comprehensive specialty exam to achieve certification. But part of what makes us unique goes back to 1952. That’s when a group of osteopathic surgeons who were denied certification by the AOA and ABMS because they did not complete osteopathic residencies created a certification board that didn’t discriminate on training and actually tested a physician’s knowledge of the specialty.

Certification in Emerging Medical Specialties

Today, the ABPS still takes a non-discriminatory and pragmatic approach, offering both allopathic and osteopathic physicians certification options in a variety of specialties, from traditional fields like family medicine and dermatology to emerging specialties like integrative medicine and disaster medicine. As healthcare continues to evolve, we remain committed to our goal of enabling physicians to gain personal and professional advancement while meeting today’s increasing demands for patient care. To that end, we have created other boards that are unique in the certification industry, including:

  • The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM)
  • The Board of Certification in Urgent Care Medicine (BCUCM)
  • The Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics (BCFMO)
  • The American Board of Administrative Medicine (ABAM)
  • The Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM)

More Competition Leads to Better Healthcare

At the ABPS, we believe that more competition among certification organizations leads to more innovation and improvements. With more certification options available, physicians have the flexibility to choose the board that is most consistent with their values and best fosters their career development. Consider our emergency medicine board, the BCEM. While other multi-specialty organization may have emergency medicine boards, the BCEM is the only one that offers a pathway for primary-care trained doctors. Given the nation’s ongoing shortage of emergency medicine physicians in a time when more employers are prioritizing the hiring of board-certified physicians, the certification offered by the ABPS is critically important.

To learn more about the ABPS and any of our Member Boards, contact us today. We will be happy to provide you with detailed information about our eligibility requirements.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
New Approaches to Improve Patient Outcomes
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.

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
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
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