Important Factors in Board Certification Recognition

Board Certification RecognitionBoard certification recognition seems to mean different things to members of the medical community.

Because there is no across-the-board national standard when it comes to board certification recognition, the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) firmly believes that it should be based on the ability of the certifying body to adequately and accurately measure the skill and experience of a physician in his or her chosen specialty or specialties. The distinction “board certified” should reflect a physician’s mastery of the core competencies required to provide the best medical care possible. To that end, the Member Boards of the ABPS all maintain rigorous eligibility requirements and testing standards. Any physician who has earned board certification through one of our Member Boards has proven, through written, oral, or hands-on simulation testing, that he or she has earned the right to be considered an accomplished leader in the medical community.

In addition, board certification recognition should hinge on the willingness of physicians to adhere to the highest possible ethical standards. All qualified physicians who seek board certification through an ABPS Member Board are required to take a non-remedial medical ethics course once every eight years to achieve recertification. The ABPS is the only medical board certifying body to require such a course.

How the ABPS Differentiates Itself From Other Certification Boards

Besides being the only board to require ethics training, the ABPS is the only one that offers certification in emerging specialties such as disaster medicine, integrative medicine, and family medicine obstetrics. Additionally, physicians who have extensive experience working in emergency departments, but who completed their residencies in a primary care field, can earn emergency medicine certification with the ABPS without needing to complete an additional residency. Currently, ABPS Diplomates across the various specialties practice at some of the finest healthcare institutions in the country and are in all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Furthermore, the ABPS is:

  • Recognized in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook as a choice for physician board certification
  • Supported by Aperture Credentialing, the nation’s most experienced healthcare provider credentialing company
  • Recognized by various state medical boards as a certifying entity that meets the higher certification standards they require

Board Certification and the Credentialing Process

With a few exceptions, the various state medical boards around the country choose not to distinguish among the three largest physician board certification bodies – the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Osteopathic Association, and the ABPS. However, a small percentage of state medical boards have imposed specific rules for physicians to publicly advertise board certification as part of their medical credentials. It is important to remember that the Joint Commission does not formally recognize any board certification body, although its accreditation standards do state that physician board certification is an excellent benchmark and should be considered during the credentialing process.

Why Become Certified With the ABPS?

Once certified by the ABPS, physicians can expect several benefits. First, they become members of a distinguished community of like-minded professionals committed to offering the highest standard of medical care. With more hospitals than ever prioritizing hiring board-certified physicians, ABPS certification also makes physicians more marketable to employers. Additionally, many insurance providers now offer incentives for hiring board-certified physicians, further encouraging hospitals to hire physicians who are board certified. Meanwhile, the ABPS works to establish relationships with healthcare organizations, hospital groups, and legislators to ensure that our physicians have a voice in the community and that patient care always takes priority over the business side of medicine.

For more information about the stance of the ABPS on physician board certification recognition, or on the meaning of board certification, contact us today.

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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.

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
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