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.

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
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