Vinita Sodhi, MD and Robert DeSimone, MD, Provide Guidance on Becoming Board-Certified in Anesthesiology

The Board of Certification in Anesthesiology (BCA) offers credentialed physicians board certification in the specialty. The BCA is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), which is recognized in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook and by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a top choice for physician certification.

If you’re a qualified and experienced anesthesiologist, considering board certification, BCA Diplomates Vinita Sodhi, MD, and Robert DeSimone, MD, can tell you about the certification process and the benefits of becoming certified through the ABPS—a multispecialty board that works diligently on their behalf to ensure they have a strong voice in their community.

Vinita Sodhi, MD

Vinita Sodhi, MDI practice anesthesiology at Atlanticare Regional Medical Center in Pomona, NJ. Anesthesiology is a dynamic specialty with an excellent combination of technical hands-on skills and intellectual problem-solving in real time. I love having the ability to provide anesthetic care to each patient based on their co-morbidities and surgical procedure.

To be eligible for BCA certification, applicants must satisfy the general requirements of the ABPS as well as the BCA’s requirements, which include completing a PGY-1 program or accredited internship and an ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency in anesthesiology. To earn certification, candidates must pass both a written and an oral exam.

Preparation for the exams starts during training and through involvement in complex cases. Additional resources I used to prepare include: the ACE book questions, Open Anesthesia, and Faust Anesthesia Handbook.

Becoming BCA certified has several benefits. It puts you in a distinguished group of specialists who have demonstrated exceptional knowledge and skills. BCA certification also enhances your technique and patient care methods, giving you confidence in your clinical decision-making and treatment planning. As a result, patients feel more confident.

Though the certification process is challenging, it is worthwhile and rewarding. Stay focused and keep solving as many practice questions from different sources. For oral exam preparation, do as many mock orals as you can, and ask your friends or colleagues to be your mock examiner.

Robert DeSimone, MD

Robert DeSimone, MDI’m currently practicing with a small anesthesia group that covers surgical centers in Essex, Morris, and Union counties in New Jersey.

One important way to prepare for the BCA written certification exam is to read one of the major anesthesia textbooks over your first year of anesthesia training. Also, look over the salient points of the cases you are assigned to every day and discuss them with your attending physicians.

Once you pass the written portion, prepare for the oral exam by rereading one of the major anesthesia textbooks and having a mentor administer practice questions. Oral exam review courses are another option.

In the past, being board certified in a specialty was not imperative, but in today’s medical environment, certification is very imperative. For instance, most hospitals require physician specialists to earn board certification in a certain period of time to maintain hospital privileges. When you consider that most insurers will not cover medical services unless a physician is board certified or board eligible, you can understand why most ambulatory surgical centers advertise that their physicians are certified.

If I could give advice to an anesthesiologist interested in BCA certification, I would say that becoming a certified physician is a rigorous endeavor, certainly, but it is now essentially required in order to practice anesthesia in today’s evolving industry.

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.

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