COVID-19 Presents an Urgency for Hospital Groups and Other Healthcare Providers to Update Medical Staff Bylaws

Medical staff bylaws provide rules under which organizations govern their operational affairs. Sometimes, however, bylaws are written in such a way that they hinder rather than promote the assurance of quality standards. To avoid such situations, organizations often form review committees that periodically review bylaws to identify rules that are no longer relevant or helpful.

Consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed hiring practices for some hospital groups. Faced with a shortage of qualified physicians to treat COVID-19 patients, hospitals are turning to retired physicians for help, and some organizations are even granting exceptions to medical students by temporarily waiving medical license and board certification requirements. Unfortunately, some organizations still maintain bylaws that recognize physicians certified by particular certification bodies only.

At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we certify qualified physicians in a range of medical specialties. Our strict eligibility requirements and psychometrically evaluated certification exams ensure that every specialist certified by one of our Member Boards has the expertise to deliver nothing less than world-class medical care. Our Diplomates practice at some of the most respected institutions in North America and are considered leaders in their chosen field.

If the goal of bylaws is to recruit the most qualified candidates, then updating rules to include ABPS-certified specialists makes sense. It would effectively give patients who are now in dire need access to the expert medical care that our accomplished Diplomates can provide.

Health experts predict that COVID-19 disruptions may continue for several months, and that, sadly, the health of many more people will be affected. Even as social restrictions ease in the coming months, new cases will arise. With healthcare systems under stress, now is the ideal time for hospital leaders to amend their medical staff bylaws to ensure that they have the most qualified physicians on staff.

For more information about the ABPS and our comprehensively skilled Diplomates, contact us today.

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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.

ABPS board certification validates a physician's competence in their medical specialty. This is important to a patient seeking medical care. Physician recertification through ABPS assures that we maintain knowledge and expertise throughout our career. The ABPS is a collegial and committed organization of physicians and administrative staff. The organization has given me the opportunity to become involved in all facets of the board certification process and physician governance.

Lawrence Stein, MD, FAASOS
Orthopedic Surgery
ABPS is a leading advocate for its Diplomates, their patients, and the public at large by promoting high-quality evidence-based patient care. ABPS certifies physicians through industry-leading rigorous examinations in various boards and offers continuous recertification making sure that these physicians are qualified to practice safe state of the art medicine.

Leslie Mukau, MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine
In this time of uncertainty, Disaster Medicine Certification has helped tremendously to demonstrate to hospital leadership my commitment to disaster preparedness and knowledge of planning, response, and mitigation. ABODM certification focuses on the knowledge and skills a physician needs to become a recognized leader in the four stages of disaster preparation and management: planning, coordination, execution, and debriefing.

Lewis W, Marshall, MD, JD, FAAEP, FAADM
Disaster Medicine | Emergency Medicine