Choice for Board Certification Matters
The road to becoming a practicing physician is long and arduous. After graduating from medical school and completing residency training, physicians must obtain a state medical license to show that they have the expertise to provide safe and effective medical care. But, in the United States, these are minimum standards, and to distinguish themselves as leaders in their fields, many dedicated physicians seek board certification. Although certification is a voluntary process, it’s notably stringent and requires eligible candidates to pass challenging exams and complete several hours of continuing medical education. When physicians achieve certification, however, benefits accrue not only for themselves and their employers but, most importantly, for their patients as well.
As a measure of one’s ability to deliver expert medical care, certification instills patients with confidence that they are in good hands. It confirms for patients that certified physicians are uniquely qualified in their specialty and indicates that by taking the extra step of earning certification these dedicated practitioners stand at the vanguard of a healthcare model that puts patients first.
Founded in 1952, the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) has become one of the premier multi-specialty certifying bodies in North America. We offer board certification in a range of specialties, from primary care fields like internal medicine and family medicine to innovative specialties like integrative medicine and disaster medicine. Our Diplomates practice their specialties in all 50 states as well as Canada and Puerto Rico and are part of a respected community of skilled professionals focused on exceptional patient care and safety rather than the business of medicine.
To ABPS stakeholders, our mission is straightforward – better patient care. But in the wide-ranging medical industry, not every program will serve the best interests of either patients or health care providers. Take physician certification, for example. When a certifying body wields a monopoly, it can impose unnecessary certification requirements. This is what the U.S. Department of Justice stated in a landmark 2018 opinion that argues for more options in physician board certification.
As a nationally recognized certifying body, the ABPS understands that vigorous competition is instrumental to the success of the American economy. Increased competition among certification boards gives physicians the flexibility to choose the organization that best reflects their values, meets their professional needs and expectations, and fosters their career development. Given that only the most skilled and knowledgeable practitioners earn board certification, it’s not hard to see how expanded choices in certification can result in more medical innovations and better care for the people we all ultimately serve – patients.
If you would like more information about the ABPS, or how to apply for certification through one of our Member Boards, contact the ABPS today.