ABPS: A Nationally Recognized Choice in Physician Board Certification

ABPS: A Nationally Recognized Choice in Physician Board CertificationFounded in 1952, the American Board of Physician Specialties® is unique among certifying bodies in that it certifies both allopathic and osteopathic physicians. This spirit of inclusion filled a void at a time when certifying organizations discriminated on the basis of training. Today, the ABPS proudly maintains a non-discriminatory approach and the sense that it’s a community of diverse but like-minded professionals.

Many doctors certified through the ABPS hold dual certifications. The most familiar of the Member Boards of the ABPS is the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM), which, unlike the American Board of Emergency Medicine, does not require its Diplomates to complete an emergency medicine residency training program. “We offer a way for primary care residency-trained physicians with substantial emergency department experience to get certified in emergency medicine,” says Jeff Morris, executive director of the ABPS. Considering that more than 40 percent of physicians practicing emergency medicine today are not EM residency trained, certification through the BCEM ensures a stronger and more qualified EM force, adds Morris.

With an emphasis on innovation, the ABPS assesses the needs in the medical field in order to create groundbreaking boards. For example, through its Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics, the ABPS has helped support the need in rural areas for obstetricians by giving family medicine doctors a way to demonstrate, through rigorous oral and written exams, the knowledge they gained in surgical obstetrics training. Likewise, Member Boards such as the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM), the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM), and the American Board of Administrative Medicine (ABAM) were created to provide opportunities for physicians to display mastery in vital and fast-growing specialties.

Creating a new ABPS board usually takes about two years. “It’s like developing a new product,” Morris says. “You have to do market analysis, market valuation.” If it’s shown that the new board would contribute to improved patient care, then the difficult and detailed process of developing board certification exam questions begins. The founding board, which consists of physicians who are leaders in that board’s specialty, must adhere to specific industry standards to ensure that each question is a valid and reliable measure of competency.

Certification with any ABPS Member Board lasts for eight years. Although the ABPS has no Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process, physicians are required to take ethics training and sit for a recertification exam every eight years. “The idea of having just a CME requirement is great for your medical license, but we are a board certifying body, we have to certify to the public that physicians have successfully demonstrated their knowledge,” says Morris.

Contact the ABPS today to learn more about our Member Boards and our dedication to identifying professionals supremely qualified to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the public.


Save the Date
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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine