Why Physicians Should Consider Seeking Multiple Board Certifications

VA PhysiciansThere are as many reasons to earn physician board certification as there are physicians. Every Diplomate of a board certifying body has his or her own reasons for choosing a particular specialty. Those reasons might be personal or professional, or they may simply be a result of a combination of circumstances that compelled a physician to move into a certain field of medicine. Regardless, once a physician has selected and become proficient in a certain specialty, it might make sense for him or her to expand their foundation of professional accomplishment by seeking board certification in an additional specialty.

Why would a physician wish to become dual-boarded? It might be that new Member Boards were developed by organizations like the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) after the physician earned his or her original certification, and those new boards are an appealing addition to credentials. Examples of relatively new boards at the ABPS include:

  • Integrative Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Disaster Medicine
  • Family Medicine Obstetrics

Multiple Board Certifications Can Make a Physician’s Resume Stand Out

In some cases, a physician might want to demonstrate a mastery of the core skills and knowledge necessary to provide the best possible care for a subset of patients. For example, an orthopedic surgeon might wish to earn board certification in surgery and orthopedics, a primary care practitioner might wish to become board certified in family medicine as well as urgent care, disaster medicine or emergency medicine. In this sense, dual boarding is a way for a physician to distinguish her or his credentials in the competition for jobs. Also, as the healthcare industry changes, an additional board certification is one way for a physician to demonstrate his or her role as a leader in fields that are related to his or her specialty.

Multiple Certifications: A Commitment to Providing the Best Medical Care

Multiple board certification is more than simply a line on a résumé, however. It is a tangible demonstration of the deep commitment a physician has made to provide the best possible care in his or her chosen field.

Why Physicians Seek ABPS Board Certifications

At the ABPS, we believe that board certification should be reserved for physicians who can demonstrate an exceptional level of expertise in their specialty. That’s why we maintain strict eligibility requirements and have developed rigorous exams to ensure only the most skilled and dedicated physicians earn this coveted designation. Diplomates of the ABPS have demonstrated that they have the expertise necessary to provide the best medical care for patients. Currently, ABPS Diplomates across the various specialties practice at some of the finest healthcare institutions in the country and are in all 50 states, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

ABPS Eligibility Requirements for Certification

The eligibility requirements of the ABPS differ from specialty to specialty, but all ABPS Member Boards share certain general eligibility requirements, including:

  • Being in conformity with the Code of Ethics of the ABPS, being known in the community as an ethical member of the profession, and being an active practitioner in the specialty for which you’re seeking certification
  • Having graduated from a recognized U.S., Canadian, or international allopathic or osteopathic college of medicine. International graduates must also hold a valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
  • Holding a valid and unrestricted license(s) to practice medicine in the United States, U.S. territories, or Canada.

To learn more, or for information about board certification with one of the Member Boards of the ABPS, contact us today. The ABPS is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.


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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.

On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
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