Are You No Longer Board Eligible in Internal Medicine?

Are You No Longer Board Eligible in Internal Medicine Physicians seeking board certification in internal medicine start the process knowing that it may be altogether demanding. Not only must they satisfy several eligibility requirements, such as submitting proof of medical school education, letters of recommendation, and completing an accredited residency, but they must also study and sit for comprehensive certification exams – all while practicing their specialty day in, day out. But, for the dedicated internists who achieve certification, the process is more than worth it. As one of the highest honors a physician can receive, board certification makes practitioners highly marketable to employers and instills patients with confidence that their doctor has the skills and knowledge to give them the best care available.

Unfortunately, many talented internists are at risk of losing their opportunity to become certified. That’s because, in July 2012, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) initiated a seven-year time limit for qualified internists to be considered “board eligible,” starting after they met the initial requirements, or on July 1, 2012, whichever was later. If ABIM board-eligible physicians fail to earn certification by the end of their eligibility period, they must complete a year of retraining in an ACGME-accredited residency or fellowship program in order to re-establish eligibility. Thankfully, there is another option.

Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM)

Qualified internists can apply now through the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM), a member board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS). The ABPS is nationally recognized as a prestigious choice for multi-specialty certification, with ABPS Diplomates practicing in all 50 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico.

Our eligibility requirements are certainly strict, and our testing standards are valid, reliable, and psychometrically sound. Not only that, we are the only major certifying body that requires a non-remedial medical ethics course every eight years. But once you’ve earned BCIM certification, you will be part of a diverse group of like-minded professionals respected throughout the health care industry, and who act as public advocates within their chosen specialty, share knowledge and best practices, and enjoy ample professional networking opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements of the BCIM

To be eligible to apply for certification with the BCIM, an internal medicine physician must have an unrestricted medical license for every state in which he or she is licensed. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • A curriculum vitae that includes medical school experiences and degrees earned
  • Graduation from a medical school accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, or the Committee for the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools
  • Completion of an internal medicine residency accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the AOA. The ABPS also accepts residencies recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • Two letters of recommendation from Diplomates of the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine, or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine

BCIM Exam for Board Certification

The BCIM exam provides physicians with an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the core competencies required for delivering excellent medical care in internal medicine. Consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions, the computer-based exam is evaluated using industry-standard psychometric criteria. It covers a variety of related areas, such as dermatology, cardiology, genetic disorders, nephrology, endocrinology, allergies and immunities, and neurology. For registration dates, fees, and more information, click here. Upon successful completion, all ABPS certificates are valid for eight years, expiring on December 31st of the eighth year.

To learn more about candidate requirements for BCIM board certification, or about the benefits of certification through an ABPS Member Board, contact us today. The ABPS is the official board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialties, Inc.

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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.

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