The Benefits of Board Certification Through the American Board of Physician Specialties

Benefits Board CertificationMost physicians become familiar with the concept of board certification very early on. Even the earliest undergraduate student with medical ambitions knows that certification is a voluntary process that is intended to be a demonstration of the mastery of the core body of knowledge and skills necessary for a chosen specialty. Aspiring physicians may also be aware that board certification is used in advertising as a way to distinguish one physician or group of physicians from others.

Resident Physicians Have a Choice for Board Certification

What some medical students might not know is that they have a choice when it comes to physician board certification – they are not limited to the ABMS or AOA-BOS. They might also be unfamiliar with the depth of the benefits physicians derive from board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS). The ABPS provides board certification for 21 medical specialties and subspecialties. There are hundreds of physician certifying bodies in North America, but very few of them set and sustain the stringent and rigorous standards of the ABPS. Indeed, in some respects the standards adhered to by the ABPS actually exceed those of other certifying bodies.

The historical credibility of the ABPS Member Boards is only one of many benefits. Others include:

  • Unlimited board certification attestation for active ABPS Diplomates
  • Opportunities to participate in Member Board development and governance
  • Emeritus Certification for retired Diplomates
  • Use of the ABPS Certification mark
  • Opportunities for dual boarded certification and recertification
  • Complimentary AAPS membership
  • Career networking opportunities

How ABPS Certification Advances Patient Care

ABPS certification can foster better patient care. By hiring ABPS-certified physicians, a medical organization delivers a positive message about its credentials, boosts its reputation, and reassures patients. Knowing they are in the care of highly trained and skilled physicians can significantly ease patients’ anxieties and aid in their recovery. Consider, too, that board-certified doctors are often chosen for leadership roles within hospitals, which positions them to shape the future of healthcare. In short, employing board-certified physicians is a smart decision for healthcare facilities, as it aligns with their primary duty to offer the best medical care possible.

Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS

The ABPS has established the following general eligibility requirements for certification:

  • Three to five years of advanced training, depending on the specialty, and successful completion of a residency approved by the ACGME or AOA.
  • A full, unrestricted medical license.
  • Completion of a non-remedial medical ethics course.
  • A minimum of 50 hours of continuing medical education annually.
  • Recertification every eight years.

Unique among certification boards, the ABPS also mandates a medical ethics course for its Diplomates as part of recertification, underscoring our commitment to high-quality medical care and patient safety.

Explore ABPS Member Boards

If you’re interested in obtaining certification in established fields like internal medicine or dermatology, consider applying to the ABPS. Besides offering certifications in these traditional specialties, we also provide unique certification opportunities. For instance, physicians with substantial experience in emergency departments and who have completed their residencies in primary care, can achieve board certification in emergency medicine through the ABPS without the need for an additional residency.

To learn more about the benefits of board certification, and to request information about Member Board eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS today.


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