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
  • Hospital Medicine
  • Urgent Care Medicine
  • Disaster Medicine

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 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. 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.

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
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