How BCFMO Certification Benefits Physicians

Lauren Linken, MDThe American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS) offers qualified physicians in family medicine obstetrics an opportunity to demonstrate that they have the skills and knowledge to practice their specialty at the highest level. The ABPS is a nationally recognized, multi-specialty board-certifying body with stringent eligibility requirements, and to achieve certification through our Member Board, the Board of Certification in Family Medicine Obstetrics (BCFMO®), eligible physicians must pass some of the most rigorous exams in the industry. Hence, only talented and dedicated physicians become certified by the BCFMO.

Increasingly, hospitals across the country are prioritizing hiring board-certified physicians as a way to differentiate themselves from the competition. Besides elevating the prestige of medical organizations, board-certified physicians, like our BCFMO Diplomates, inspire confidence in their patients, who often choose doctors based on their credentials. But how does BCFMO certification benefit physicians?

Let Lauren Linken, MD, a BCFMO Diplomate, tell you:

Casey Hicks, MD“In 2015, fresh out of fellowship training, I accepted a position with a Federally Qualified Health Center to practice family medicine and obstetrics. The hospital had ob-gyn physicians only and, for almost 30 years, no family medicine doctor had performed a delivery there. When I applied for my privileges, I was asked via a questionnaire, ‘Are you board certified?’ I was, through the American Board of Family Medicine. The questionnaire also asked, ‘Are you board eligible?’ I was, too, as I had completed a fellowship in obstetrics and was eligible to take the board exam offered by BCFMO. Because I had completed a fellowship, had met all my ‘numbers,’ and was board eligible, I was granted privileges. I went on to successfully complete my BCFMO exam and, since then, I have kept my full privileges.

“My partner, Casey Hicks, MD, was another story. He had completed a fellowship in tropical medicine, which included a significant amount of maternity care and cesarean sections – but in Africa, and it was not an obstetric fellowship per se. Although Dr. Hicks had the skill set to perform full-spectrum low- and high-risk obstetrics, including surgical deliveries, he was denied privileges. They did allow him to perform vaginal deliveries and assist in my surgeries, but he had to take further steps to get full privileges. He worked with me for a year doing an obstetric fellowship, and became board eligible. He passed his boards and had no problems applying for and accepting full privileges to practice obstetrics. Without the BCFMO, I don’t think this would have been a possibility for Dr. Hicks.”

The ABPS encourages physicians interested in expanding their career opportunities, whether through gaining employment or hospital privileges, to pursue certification with the BCFMO. To learn about its eligibility requirements, or the benefits of BCFMO certification, contact the ABPS today.


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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.

I feel truly blessed and grateful to be an internal medicine board-certified diplomate with the American Board of Physician Specialties. Their ongoing, steadfast commitment to physician board(s) enhancement, forward focused vision, and tenacity is second to none. ABPS has become a recognized choice in Physician Board Certification.

Adam Rench, MD
Internal Medicine
To be the best, you must measure yourself against the best. Achieving Board Certification in Emergency Medicine by the ABPS gave me the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the art of EM in an objective way. The high bar that ABPS sets for candidates to be allowed to take both the written and oral exam is a testament to ABPS's rigorous vetting of one's ability to practice Emergency Medicine at a high level. By maintaining these credentials, I've been able to instill confidence in my abilities at the department/employer level and ultimately with the patients that choose to seek emergency care at the facilities at which I practice.

Royce Mathew Joseph, MD
Emergency Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has supported the entire field of Integrative Medicine in sponsoring our board. It has been so validating of the importance of prevention-oriented and holistic approaches to care while emphasizing the scientific basis of this specialty to have it recognized by ABPS. I am proud to have been one of the first groups to be board certified by ABPS in Integrative Medicine, leading the way for others committed to training in this specialty.

Myles Spar, MD
Integrative Medicine