Important Factors in Board Certification Recognition
Board 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.