Why it is Wrong that Some Qualified Physicians Remain Unable to Secure a Career Foothold with Hospitals

Hospital Hiring PracticesIn spite of impending physician shortages, some hospitals continue to ignore some qualified physicians merely because of the board-certifying body they chose to become certified through. The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) believes this flaw in hiring policies will do nothing but exacerbate the physician shortage problem, leaving perfectly qualified physicians frustrated and − more importantly − threatening the quality of care available to patients.

There is political precedent in the medical world for changing bylaws to be more in line with societal norms. There was a time, not long ago, when Osteopathic physicians were discriminated against when it came to hiring practices by hospitals and practice management groups. Society’s accepted standards of medical care have evolved, and today practicing physicians with “D.O.” after their names are practically universally accepted. In other words, bylaws and hiring practices have evolved, as well. This evolution can and should be instructive for hiring boards that have not yet reached the logical conclusion that in the 21st century, qualified physicians want and deserve a choice when it comes to physician board certification. As things stand now, the only choice many physicians have is to go with the American Board of Medical Specialties or otherwise become essentially blocked from career advancement in a hospital setting.

The ABPS has indisputably demonstrated that its eligibility requirements and testing standards are every bit as stringent as any other multi-specialty board certifying body in the United States. In fact, the ABPS’ requirement for recertification after eight years − as opposed to 10 years − ensures that ABPS Diplomates must remain even more up-to-speed than those who are given full decade between recertification exams. We bring up this distinction merely to reinforce the point that physician board certification through the ABPS should not be dismissed when it comes to hospital and management care group hiring practices. Ultimately, the patients are the ones who will suffer because of the current short-sighted approach to hiring physicians.

To learn more, contact the ABPS. The ABPS is the official multi-specialty board–certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialties, 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.

Board certification through the American Board of Physician Specialties has served to substantiate my interest and additional training in several fields of medicine including Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. As a result, I have been able to serve my community in clinical, disaster response, and administrative medicine roles. Through the ABPS, I have become recognized as a leader in my various fields of interest.

Spencer Price MD, MPH, MBA
Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, Administrative Medicine
BCEM certification through ABPS has provided me with many opportunities. It has helped me demonstrate that I have special experience and expertise in Emergency Medicine beyond that obtained through my family medicine training. BCEM certification firmly established me as an emergency medicine specialist once I started working in emergency medicine full time. ABPS has also helped me network with other family physicians with a passion for improving rural and underserved emergency medicine practice.

Alex Beuning, MD, FAAEP
Emergency Medicine
Personal challenge and motivation compelled me to pass my ABPS board exam. Measurement and confirmation of my own knowledge base reinforced my self-confidence. The ABPS, with its history of inclusivity, has allowed me to have a voice in the organization, while permitting me to impact overall national patient safety and care through certification. Participation in exam development afforded me the opportunity to witness the rigorousness of the exam process and psychometrically sound product, while developing meaningful collegiality, professional life enrichment, and warding off burn out.

Elizabeth Maxwell-Schmidt MD, FAAEP, FACEP
Emergency Medicine