Are Your Hospital’s Medical Staff Bylaws Inclusive?

Are Your Hospital’s Medical Staff Bylaws InclusiveHospitals throughout the United States have established credentialing requirements and bylaws to ensure that their medical professionals are, at the very least, appropriately qualified. Bylaws aim at setting a standard of quality that ultimately assures patients they will receive safe, compassionate, and effective medical care. In a real sense, physician board certification achieves the same goals.

Certification is a demanding, completely voluntary process of education and testing through which only those physicians who meet stringent eligibility requirements have a chance to demonstrate their overall medical skills. It’s a hard-earned distinction that the medical industry generally recognizes. So, the question becomes, why would hospitals create bylaws to deny qualified physicians a choice in board certification?

It’s safe to assume that hospitals write bylaws to attract physicians who are among the best in their fields. Unfortunately, some bylaws unintentionally block physicians certified by respected osteopathic boards, non-U.S. boards, and any new board that is not associated with the American Board of Medical Specialties. Of course, hospitals should strive to maintain the highest quality of medical care, but if bylaws restrict a perfectly qualified and experienced doctor who just so happens to be certified with a non-ABMS board, hospitals may miss opportunities to hire accomplished practitioners. Ultimately, it is patients who suffer. Because medical staff bylaws serve to establish quality, they should be written as carefully as possible to achieve this goal.

The ABPS Urges Hospitals to Update Their Bylaws

The American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) is a nationally recognized certifying body with 12 specialty boards and Diplomates in 19 specialties. Federal organizations that recognize the ABPS include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Veterans’ Health Administration and the U.S States Armed Forces. The U.S. Department of Labor revised their definition of multispecialty board certification to specifically include ABPS alongside the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

While the ABPS understands that credentialing involves more than verifying board certification, when bylaws exclude ABPS Diplomates, despite their well-demonstrated skills, healthcare organizations deprive patients of opportunities to be treated by specialists who are not only among the finest practicing today, but who have also bolstered the reputation of hospitals throughout the country. That’s why the ABPS is calling for a change. We encourage more hospitals and other healthcare organizations to update their bylaws to include the ABPS and give patients access to the world-class medical care that our Diplomates provide.

Rigorous Certification Standards Make for Better Health Care

If your hospital has not yet updated its bylaws to include the ABPS, we trust that the attributes of ABPS Diplomates cited here are smart reasons to do so. At the ABPS, we’re committed to physician certification that creates standards for identifying world-class specialists who deliver exceptional medical care. To learn more about the ABPS, our Member Boards, and our Diplomates, contact us today. Founded in 1952, we remain steadfastly committed to preparing physicians to provide nothing less than exceptional medical care.

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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.

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