Are All Physicians Certified in the Specialties They Practice?

Group of doctors use a computer tabletThere is no shortage of well-qualified and experienced physicians practicing today, but not all of them are certified in the specialties they practice. Does that mean that they are not as talented or dedicated as their board-certified colleagues? Hardly.

Keep in mind that board certification, unlike a state medical license, is not a requirement to practice medicine. Rather, board certification serves as a valuable tool for evaluating a physician’s expertise. Certification is a voluntary process that includes additional training, which helps to assure patients that their doct or indeed has the skills and knowledge to provide safe and effective health care. Considering how nerve-wracking visiting a doctor can be for many patients, it’s not hard to understand why board certification can give patients, as well as their loved ones, confidence in a physician’s treatment approach.

While better patient care is the ultimate goal of physician board certification, the hard-earned credential does provide several other benefits for physicians, their employers, and the community at large. Consider that board certification is:

  • One of the highest honors that a physician can receive in their field of study, validating years of hard work while boosting their careers and earning potential
  • Becoming increasingly prioritized by employers who are looking for ways to differentiate their medical centers from the competition

Board certification should not be the only factor to consider when assessing prospective physicians, but given the rigor of the process, which includes meeting stringent eligibility requirements and passing tough exams, it is a recognized indicator of the physician’s expertise.

At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we offer board certification to both allopathic and osteopathic physicians in a variety of medical fields, from emerging specialties like integrative medicine and disaster medicine to primary care fields like internal medicine and family medicine. Our 12 Member Boards are recognized by the U.S Department of Labor as well as credentialing organizations such as Greely, HCPro, and the National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) as top options for physician certification.

If you would like to find out whether your physician is board certified through the ABPS, visit our online physician verification database here. If you’re unable to find your physician in the database, please call our Verification Department at (813) 433-2277.


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.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
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
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