What Must a Physician do to become Board Certified?
In order for a physician to become board certified through one of the Member Boards of the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), he or she must meet the general ABPS eligibility requirements and the eligibility requirements that are specific to his or her chosen specialty. It is important for students who are just beginning their medical studies to understand that at some point, they will almost certainly want to seek board certification. Even though it might seem like a long time off, once you find your academic and professional track, the time to take the respective board certification exam will be here quicker than you imagined.
Here’s an important tip: Don’t reach the point in your career when it’s time to become board certified and be caught unaware by an eligibility requirement that you hadn’t considered. Research the requirements sooner, rather than later, and keep up with them in the years leading up to your board certification exam so that you know exactly what is expected of you at all times.
Eligibility Requirements of the ABPS
Each of the Member Boards of the ABPS has its own specific set of eligibility requirements, but there are several general requirements that they all have in common. These include:
- Completing advanced specialty training or a residency or fellowship of three to five years
- Possessing a full, unrestricted medical license for every state where you intend to practice
- The willingness to become recertified after eight years, rather than the 10-year requirement imposed by other board certification bodies
- Completing at least 50 hours of continuing medical education annually
- Completing a non-remedial medical ethics course for recertification
Founded in 1952, the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) takes a non-discriminatory approach to board certification, and since certifying our first physician in 1960, we have certified countless highly qualified physicians across a range of specialties, from traditional fields like family medicine and dermatology to emerging specialties like integrative medicine and disaster medicine. In fact, we are the only multi-specialty board that offers certification in these emerging fields.
Advantages of Certification With an ABPS Member Board
Once certified, physicians must complete several hours of continuing medical education annually. It’s no wonder that only the most talented and committed physicians achieve certification through the ABPS. That they are also widely viewed as leaders in their fields is also not surprising. And as for other career benefits, consider that certification with an ABPS Member Board:
- Makes physicians more marketable to potential employers
- Enables physicians to gain opportunities for career advancement, which can lead to increased earning potential
- Fosters recognition and respect from medical colleagues
- Gives doctors a meaningful voice as valued members of the healthcare community
To learn more about the general eligibility requirements for ABPS board certification, or to learn about the specific requirements for your chosen specialty, contact the ABPS.