Why Doctors Go to Business School

In recent years, the healthcare delivery model in North America has fundamentally changed. As physicians have become more specialized and centralized, there has been a stronger emphasis than ever before placed on the “business side” of medicine. Increasing operational efficiency has become a top priority for healthcare organizations interested in not only improving the quality of patient care but also with cutting costs, optimizing staffing levels, and adopting cutting-edge electronic medical records platforms. As a result, physicians with dual training in both healthcare and business are in growing demand due to their unique insight into how to best treat patients and manage a business effectively.

The ultimate goal of the healthcare industry is to provide a high quality of care at an affordable price, which speaks to the need for physicians who can provide unique clinical insight into management decisions. Healthcare organizations are best served to have physicians in leadership roles who understand what it means to effectively treat the patient, but who also have received formal business training. These highly qualified physicians have the skills necessary to recommend process improvements, address inefficiencies, and bring fresh eyes to institutional problems.

The American Board of Administrative Medicine® (ABAM®).

At the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), we have recognized the growing demand for physicians who are extensively trained in both healthcare and business administration, which is why we developed the nation’s first Member Board dedicated exclusively to providing board certification in Administrative Medicine: The American Board of Administrative Medicine® (ABAM®). Diplomates of the ABAM are physicians who have extensive experience treating patients but also have leadership roles in private practices, hospitals, and large healthcare organizations.

Eligibility Requirements of the ABAM

To be considered for board certification through the ABAM, the candidate must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in business administration, medical management, or healthcare administration, or have at least five years of cumulative experience in an administrative position
  • Currently hold, or previously have held, board certification through the ABPS, ABMS, AOA, or a RCPSC board
  • Have a valid and unrestricted license to practice medicine
  • Adhere to the additional eligibility requirements that can be found here
  • Submit letters of reference or qualification assessment forms from three individuals who can verify and describe directly observed skills, abilities, and interest in the areas of medical administrative experience
  • Submit a current curriculum vitae that includes medical school, degrees earned, and work experience, in chronological order

After applicants are deemed eligible, they must pass a computer-based written exam to earn board certification in administrative medicine. A candidate may take the ABAM exam as many as three times to attain a passing score. You can find information about dates and fees for the application and the exam here.

Once granted, ABAM certification is good for eight years, expiring on December 31 of the eighth year.

Learn More About Physician Board Certification With the ABAM

If you are a physician who has completed a joint MD/MBA program, or you are a board-certified physician with extensive, verifiable experience in healthcare management, consider the advantages of pursuing board certification through the ABAM. Full eligibility requirements can be viewed here.

To learn more, contact the ABPS today.

Save the Date
House of Delegates & Annual Scientific Meeting
Innovation & Overcoming Challenges
June 10-15, 2022
Patient Care Is Our Priority

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