Facts About the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS)

Founded in 1952, the American Board of Physician Specialties® is a nationally recognized choice in physician board certification that includes 12 Member Boards with Diplomates in 20 specialties. Today, leading medical entities, stakeholders, and professional organizations have updated their bylaws, policies, and standards to include ABPS. ABPS offers the highest standards in physician board certification that meet the healthcare needs of the public and aid physicians in achieving success in the continuously evolving medical environment. Its Diplomates practice throughout the United States and serve as leaders in their medical specialties.

Here are some important facts about ABPS:

  • ABPS Diplomates and applicants have been primary-source verified by Aperture, a Joint Commission and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) accredited Credentials Verification Organization (CVO).
  • ABPS Member Boards are listed in the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare’s (CAQH) Proview application. CAQH is a platform that gathers enrollment and credentialing data in a single repository for participating health plans and other healthcare organizations.
  • Federal and state organizations that recognize ABPS certifications include, but are not limited to, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Veterans’ Health Administration and the United States Armed Forces under the GI Bill, along with state medical boards with specific advertising rules.
  • ABPS is recognized in the definition of Physician Board Certification in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Handbook.
  • Various state medical boards have also completed their due diligence and retain strict language that accepts and recognizes ABPS as a recognized certifying board that meets the higher standards of certification they require. Some state medical boards, including Florida, have written ABPS into their stringent language.
  • ABPS examinations, procedures, and protocols not only meet the highest standards possible, but are clinically, psychometrically, and legally defensible. An objective third party and industry leader (Castle Worldwide) conducted a comprehensive assessment of the ABPS’ rigorous standards and found that they were equivalent to those set by ABMS and AOA.
  • ABPS requires a recertification exam every eight (8) years along with 400 CMEs (200 CMEs specialty specific) and a medical ethics course completed in that time frame.
  • Leading healthcare and credentialing organizations such as Greely, HCPro, and the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) recognize ABPS as a choice in physician certification. In addition, HCPro’s Medical Staff Governing Documents – Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures and NAMSS’s Ideal Credentialing Standards Whitepaper and Managed Care Resource Toolkit have been revised to reflect this recognition.
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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.

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