Dr. Spencer T. Price, MD, MPH, MBA, Gives us a Closer Look at ABPS’s Clinically Based Examinations

Spencer Price, MDCertification exams offered by the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) focus on the knowledge and skills necessary to provide safe, effective, evidence-based medicine. ABPS exams are prepared not by academics, but by physicians who practice their medical specialty daily. ABPS exams avoid controversial, unsettled areas of medical practice, and exam questions are not designed to trick or confuse candidates but, rather, to measure a physician’s ability to solve medical problems. ABPS exams focus less on the candidate’s ability to learn facts and more on the ability to care for patients.

Because these exams are clinically-based, they pose questions with direct clinical bearing. So, scenarios are based on common clinical encounters and measure clinical acumen and problem-solving skills. Each question is evidence-based. Subjectivity and esoterica are avoided. Exam questions are selected based on practical experience gained from years of direct patient care.

To prepare for ABPS exams, physicians should rely on practical, hands-on experience as well as foundational texts in their fields. In an effort toward transparency, the ABPS publishes a list of these texts.

Successful completion of a clinically-based exam demonstrates that a physician possesses the requisite knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective health care. After passing my ABPS certification exams, I was confident that I had what it takes to improve my patients’ health and quality of life. I knew that I had mastered a body of knowledge derived from the study and practice of thousands of physicians before me and that I would be making decisions based on the expertise and success of those medical professionals.

Dr. Spencer T. Price, MD, is a Diplomate of the ABPS Member Boards, the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM), the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM), and the American Board of Administrative Medicine (ABAM).

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Medical organizations throughout North America understand that our rigorous certification standards prove that ABPS Diplomates are capable of delivering the best patient care possible.

Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine